Does Your State’s Individual Income Tax Code Conform with the Federal Tax Code?

As the federal government continues to debate tax reform, states, and many taxpayers, are asking an important question: How is my state’s tax code impacted? The exact impacts won’t be known until the federal bill is finalized, but states have a number of things to monitor, as my colleague, Joseph Bishop-Henchman, wrote earlier this month. To understand how federal tax reform would change state tax codes and revenues, we need to explore the idea of conformity. For reasons of administrative simplicity, states frequently seek to conform many, though rarely all, elements of their tax codes to the federal tax code. This harmonization of definitions and policies reduces compliance costs for individuals and businesses with liability in multiple states and limits the potential for double taxation of income. No state conforms to the federal code in all respects, and not all provisions of the federal code make for good tax policy, but greater conformity substantially reduces…

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