Can I File My State Taxes Before My Federal Taxes?

Filing taxes for most taxpayers in most states means filing a federal and a state return. Usually, federal and any state returns should be filed at the same time. However, if you’re wondering if you can file your state taxes before your federal taxes, we can help you understand your options.

Filing by Mail. If you’re planning to file paper forms for both your federal and state returns, you can file your state return before your federal return. You may be considering this option if your goal is to use your state refund to pay for your federal tax liability. While this approach could work if you have enough time to receive the refund, you’ll still need information from the federal return to complete the state return.

Filing by E-file. If you’re planning to file electronically through e-file, you won’t be able to e-file your state taxes before you e-file your federal taxes. Generally, e-file programs require you to file your federal return first, then file any state returns.

What If My Federal E-file Is Pending?

If you’re filing your federal and state returns using an online program, you’ll need to file your federal return first. If your federal e-file is pending, you should wait until the IRS accepts your federal return before you e-file your state return.

Have questions about your federal e-file pending status? If you’re using H&R Block Online tax products, you can find additional information about what to do if your e-file status is pending or not updating.

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