Things to know about filing Missouri state taxes

The St. Louis Arch soars above the St. Louis, Missouri skyline at twlight. Image:

In a Nutshell

Missouri’s state animal is the mule, and the prospect of doing your Missouri state taxes could make you feel downright mulish! But the state provides residents with a wealth of information that can help make the filing process easier.

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This article was fact-checked by our editors and reviewed by Jennifer Samuel, senior product specialist for Credit Karma Tax®. It has been updated for the 2019 tax year.

The Show-Me State gave the world iced tea, Maya Angelou, and a world’s fair that spawned a stage play, musical and movie.

Missouri’s also given its residents a complicated 10-bracket tax system that leaves the majority of state residents paying the state’s highest personal income tax rate.

Let’s look at some things to know about personal income taxes in Missouri.


The basics of filing Missouri state taxes

Missouri has many types of tax, including income tax, a sales and use tax, an insurance tax, a fuel tax and a financial institutions tax. In 2017, income tax accounted for nearly half of all Missouri’s tax collections.

Individual income taxes raised more than $7.7 billion for the state in 2017.

Taxing body

The Missouri Department of Revenue collects tax in the state. You can reach the agency by calling 1-573-751-3505 or by emailing general questions to income@dor.mo.gov.

Filing and payment deadline

Most Missouri returns are due the same date as federal tax returns, April 15. If the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is the next business day.

Filing statuses

Generally, you should use your federal tax return filing status for your Missouri state return.

Here are the federal filing statuses.

  • Single
  • Head of household
  • Married filing jointly (on Missouri’s tax form, this is referred to as married filing combined)
  • Married filing separately
  • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child

Missouri also has two additional filing statuses on its income tax form: claimed as a dependent on another person’s federal tax return, and married filing separate if your spouse is not filing.

Learn how your filing status affects your tax bill

Missouri income tax rates

Missouri has a progressive income tax system with income tax rates that range from 1.5% to 5.4%. In 2019, the highest tax rate applied to annual income of more than $8,424. With a median household income of about $36,000 (according to the Missouri census), most Missouri taxpayers would currently have most of their income taxed at the highest marginal tax rate.

Missouri deductions and credits to know

Standard deductions and subtractions

Missouri allows taxpayers to claim a standard deduction that’s similar to the amounts of the federal standard deduction under tax reform.

  • Single or married filing separately: $12,200
  • Married filing combined or qualifying widow(er): $24,400
  • Head of household: $18,350

If you took the standard deduction on your federal tax return, you must use it on your Missouri state tax return as well.

Also, Missouri allows filers to make certain subtractions from the federal adjusted gross income, which is used to calculate their Missouri state tax obligations. Here are some available subtractions for 2019.

  • Exempt contributions made to a qualified 529 college savings plan
  • Qualified health insurance premiums
  • Expenses related to a home energy audit
  • Exempt contributions to a qualified Achieving a Better Life Experience account

Additionally, Missouri offers some deductions you can take after you take the standard deduction or itemize.

  • Long-term care insurance — If you paid premiums for a qualified long-term care insurance policy in the tax year, you may be able to deduct some or all of the premiums. To qualify, the policy must be for at least 12 months of coverage.
  • Military income deduction — If you earned income as an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces, and didn’t deduct that amount from your federal adjusted gross income, you may be able to deduct your military income from your Missouri income.
  • First-time homebuyers deduction — If you contributed to one or more first-time homebuyers accounts, you may be able to deduct 50% of the contributions (up to $800 for single filers or $1,600 for married couples filing a combined return). And the interest earned on the accounts is exempt from Missouri income tax.

Itemized deductions

You can only itemize deductions on your Missouri state tax return if you also itemized on your federal return. If you did itemize on your federal return though, you can choose to either itemize on your Missouri state return or claim the standard deduction, whichever provides you with the greater tax benefit.

Generally, you can take the total of your itemized federal deductions on your state return too, with the exception of state and local income taxes. You’re also allowed deductions for Social Security tax, Medicare tax, self-employment tax and railroad retirement tax.

Standard deduction vs. itemizing: Which should you choose?

Tax credits

Missouri has several state-level tax credits available. Here are some that are available for 2019.

  • Special needs adoption tax credit — If you adopt a special needs child who is a Missouri resident (or the ward of a Missouri resident), you may be able to claim a credit of up to $10,000 for nonrecurring expenses related to adoption. Conditions and limitations apply.
  • Champion for children tax credit — If you make a donation of at least $100 to a qualified agency and owe Missouri state income tax, you may be able to claim a credit of 50% of that contribution.
  • Domestic violence shelter tax credit — If you donate $100 or more in cash, stock, bonds, real property or other marketable securities to a qualified domestic violence shelter, and are subject to Missouri income tax, you may be able to take a tax credit for up to 50% of your contribution, up to a limit of $50,000.
  • Residential dwelling accessibility tax credit — If you paid to have your home made accessible because you or someone who lives with you has a disability, you may be able to recoup some or all of the costs, up to $2,500. Eligibility requirements, including income qualifications, apply.
  • Diaper bank credit — You may be able to take a credit equal to 50% of your contributions if you donated to an organization established to collect or buy disposable diapers or other hygiene products.

How to file your Missouri state tax

You have multiple options for filing your Missouri state tax return.

E-file

You can e-file your Missouri state return along with your federal return through the IRS electronic filing system. If you meet income, age or other qualifications, you may be able to file for free through this system. If you don’t meet limitations, some filing services may charge fees to file your state and federal returns. Credit Karma Tax® is always free and can help you file your federal and single-state tax returns.

Mail

You can mail a printed Missouri state tax return (with a 2-D bar code) to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

If you expect a refund:
P.O. Box 3222, Jefferson City, MO 65105-3222

If you expect a refund and are claiming a property tax credit:
P.O. Box 3385, Jefferson City, MO 65105-3385

If you owe tax:
P.O. Box 3370, Jefferson City, MO 65105-3370

If you owe and are claiming a property tax credit:
P.O. Box 3395, Jefferson City, MO 65105-3395

FAST FACTS

What forms do you need to file your federal income taxes?

Everyone who has to file a federal income tax return will need to submit Form 1040 this year. The IRS has replaced the old 1040 and the 1040A and 1040EZ with a single 1040 form and multiple schedules. Learn more about the forms you need in order to file your federal tax return.

If you owe and can’t pay

If you owe Missouri state income tax and you can’t pay it in full by the due date, you can set up a payment plan online using the Internet Installment Agreement Application. You’ll be charged interest, and likely penalties and fees that vary based on the type of payment you use. If you have questions about the Internet Installment Agreement, email income@dor.mo.gov for more information.

Tracking your Missouri tax refund

You can use Missouri’s Return Inquiry System to check the status of a state tax return. The system shows taxpayers the status of their returns and the issue date of any refund they’re owed.


Bottom line

Missouri reduced its highest income tax rate from 5.9% in 2018 to 5.5%  in 2019. And the rate could go even lower if the state meets revenue requirements — as low as 5.1%. That may be very good news for the majority of Missouri taxpayers, whose income would put them in the state’s highest tax bracket.


Jennifer Samuel, senior tax product specialist for Credit Karma Tax®, has more than a decade of experience in the tax preparation industry, including work as a tax analyst and tax preparation professional. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Leo University. You can find her on LinkedIn.