State taxes are taxes that are paid to a state government. Every year, most residents of a state are required to file certain kinds of taxes with the state. As with federal taxes, these state taxes must be paid on time. If the person fails to file taxes on time, he will face various penalties. These penalties will vary according to state law, but most penalties involve fees and interest paid on late tax payments.
The most common penalty for the late filing of taxes is interest assessed on any money owed. When people file state taxes, they are generally required to pay any money owed at the same time if they owe any. If they fail to pay this money, the state assesses interest on this unpaid sum. In Connecticut, for example, a person is assessed 1 percent interest on the unpaid sum for each month that he is late paying.
In addition to the interest paid on unpaid taxes, a person may also be assessed a flat fee for a failure to file taxes on time. This way, even if a person does not owe any taxes, he will still be penalized if he fails to pay on time. In the state of California, for example, a person will be charged a penalty of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid taxes, whichever is less.
As well as filing taxes late, a person can also be assessed additional penalties for other mistakes. For example, if the person is negligent in filing his taxes, or the check he writes to pay for the taxes bounces, he can expect to face additional fees. These rules are designed to prevent people from filing incomplete or mistake-ridden tax returns to make the filing deadline on time and avoid a penalty.
In lieu of filing taxes late, many individuals seek extensions from the state government, allowing them to file their taxes at a later date. The rules for receiving extensions vary; while some states demand a legitimate reason for receiving an extension, others grant extensions liberally. Generally, no penalties or fees are attached to the receipt of an extension, and, contrary to common belief, a person who receives an extension faces no increased likelihood of being audited.