A guide for filing your Kansas income tax return

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In a Nutshell

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas has extended its filing and payment deadline for 2019 income taxes to July 15, 2020.  
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This article was fact-checked by our editors and Rachel Weatherly, tax product specialist with Credit Karma. It has been updated for the 2019 tax year.

Whether you’re a farmer in Kansas or work in its thriving petroleum or natural gas industry — or if you hold any other job in the Sunflower State — you’ll need to know the rules for paying your Kansas income tax.

Residents and those who earn income from Kansas sources may need to file an annual state income tax return via the Kansas K-40 form. The amount you owe will be based on your filing status and income. The more you earn, the higher your tax rate will be under the state’s progressive income tax system. But state-level tax credits and deductions can help reduce your tax liability.

The basics of Kansas income tax

Taxing body

The Kansas Department of Revenue enforces state tax laws, processes tax returns and collects tax payments. For personal income-tax-related questions, you can call the agency’s Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-785-368-8222, email KDOR_tac@ks.gov or contact the department at Scott State Office Building, 120 SE 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66612-1103.

Filing and payment deadline

For 2019 state taxes, the state has extended the filing and payment deadline. Kansas residents now have until July 15, 2020, to file their state returns and pay any state tax they owe for 2019. As with the federal deadline extension, Kansas won’t charge interest on unpaid balances between April 15 and July 15, 2020.

While this year is a bit different, generally for most individual filers, Kansas income tax returns and any tax owed are due on April 15. If the 15th falls on a weekend or legal holiday, tax returns and payments are due on the next business day.

If you request a six-month extension for your federal income tax return by filing Form 4868 with the IRS, you’ll automatically get an extension to file your Kansas income tax return until October 15, as long as you include a copy for the federal extension form with your state return. Be aware, though, that a filing extension doesn’t extend your time to pay any tax due — you still must pay at least 90% of the tax you owe by the April deadline to avoid interest and late-payment penalties.

Filing statuses

On your Kansas state income tax return, your filing status must reflect the status that’s on your federal return, choosing from four: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately or head of household. If your federal filing status is qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, then your Kansas filing status will be head of household.

Kansas income tax rates

Kansas has a progressive income tax system with three tax brackets for the 2019 tax year: 3.1%, 5.25% and 5.7%. The tax rates and tax brackets that apply to your income depend on your filing status and total income.

Learn about federal tax rates and tax brackets

Kansas deductions, exemptions and credits to know

Exemption allowance

Although there are no personal exemptions for 2019 federal income tax returns, exemptions are still available for Kansas state tax returns. For 2019, the exemption allowance amount is $2,250 for each exemption you claim, and you can claim exemptions for yourself, your spouse (if applicable) and each person you claim as a dependent. If you file as head of household, you can claim one additional exemption.

Kansas standard deductions

If you took a standard deduction on your federal income tax return, you must also take the Kansas standard deduction.

Here are the Kansas standard deductions for 2019.

  • $3,000 for single filers
  • $7,500 for those married filing jointly
  • $5,500 for head of household
  • $3,750 for married filing separately

If you or your spouse (if filing jointly) were 65 or older in 2018, or blind, your standard deduction is different, ranging from $3,850 for some single filers to as high as $10,300 for some joint filers.

Kansas itemized deductions

If you itemized deductions on your federal return, you can itemize deductions on your Kansas state return. You’ll need to complete and file Part C of Schedule S in order to itemize. Deductions you may be able to itemize include the following:

  • Medical deductions — If you were allowed to deduct medical expenses on your federal return, you may be able to deduct 75% of that amount on your state return.
  • Real estate taxes If you deducted real estate taxes on your federal return, you may be able to deduct 75% of that amount on your Kansas state income tax return.
  • Personal property taxes You may be able to deduct 75% of personal property taxes you deducted on your federal return.
  • Mortgage interest If you claimed a deduction for interest paid on a mortgage for a qualified residence from your federal taxes, you may be able to deduct three quarters of that amount from your state taxes.
  • Charitable contributions You’re allowed to deduct the same amount from your state taxes that you deducted from your federal income taxes for charitable contributions.

Kansas credits 

For those who are eligible, Kansas offers some state-specific tax credits, which may be subject to caps and income limits. For example, if you’re a Kansas resident and you qualified for a federal tax credit for child and dependent care expenses, you can take 18.75% of your federal credit off your state income tax obligation.

Here are some other credits available for the 2019 tax year.

  • A property tax rebate of up to $700, which homeowners may be able to qualify for if they meet income, age and other requirements. A separate 75% rebate is available for eligible taxpayers 65 and older whose household income is $19,800 or less.
  • A Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship credit for those who make an eligible contribution to the center.
  • A food sales tax credit, which allows eligible lower-income taxpayers who bought food in Kansas to claim a tax credit intended to offset the costs of sales tax on food.
  • An earned income tax credit for eligible low- and moderate-income Kansans.
  • An adoption credit for eligible taxpayers who adopt a child, worth 25% of the federal adoption credit, plus another 25% if the adopted child was a Kansas resident prior to the adoption and an additional 25% (for a total of 75%) for the adoption of a child with special needs.

How to file your Kansas income tax

You can file your Kansas income tax online or via mail.

To file your return electronically, you can use WebFile, a free online application portal offered by the state. You can also e-file your federal and Kansas income tax returns using one of the software vendors listed on the department site. Some tax-preparation companies may charge fees though, so review terms and costs before filing.

If you want to go the paper route, you can use an original preprinted form or an approved computer-generated form (not a copy), which you can get by calling the department, visiting its office or downloading it from the department site.

Mail your return and tax documents to …

Individual Income Tax

Kansas Department of Revenue

P.O. Box 750260

Topeka, KS 66675-0260

If you owe and can’t pay

If you owe income tax but can’t pay by the annual April deadline, you should file your Kansas income tax return and pay as much as you can by the filing date. You can then call the state revenue department at 1-785-368-8222 to see if you’re eligible for a payment plan. Even if you’re approved for an installment plan, remember that interest and late-payment penalties will keep accruing on the unpaid balance.

If you have any lingering tax issues, you can contact the Kansas Taxpayer Advocate’s office by email at KDOR_taxpayer.advocate@ks.gov or by phone at 1-785-296-2473.

Tracking your Kansas income tax refund

You can check the status of your individual tax refund online. You’ll need to input your Social Security number, as well as the amount of the refund you’re expecting to receive.

Bottom line

The state of Kansas offers free tax assistance at its Topeka office. Paper returns can take 16 weeks to process, so if you’re due a refund and want to get it faster, e-filing may be your best option.

Rachel Weatherly is a tax product specialist with Credit Karma. She studied accounting and finance at Western Carolina University and has also worked as a tax analyst. You can find her on LinkedIn.

About the author: Christy Rakoczy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and the University of Rochester. Christy was previously a college teacher with experience writing textbo… Read more.