Answers to commonly asked questions for filing your Indiana tax return

If you cannot find the answer to your tax question below, visit the online section about Indiana tax overview, credits or deductions. If you still cannot find the answer to your specific tax question, contact the department or call our automated information line at (317) 232-2240.

  1. I am just a student. Why should I file taxes?

If you were paid to work at anytime during the year, and you made more than $1,000, you must file a tax return. Each time you receive a paycheck from your employer federal, state and, in most cases, county taxes are deducted from your wages. To find out if too much or not enough tax was taken out of your paychecks, you must file a state tax return. After filing the return, you may find you do not owe the state. But the state may owe you a refund.

  1. I do not think I owe taxes, so why should I file a return?

If you made more than $1,000 in wages you must file a state tax return. It’s the law.

  1. I think I have a refund coming, so why should I file a return?

Not only is it your legal duty to file your state tax return, but to get your refund, you must file a completed tax return.

  1. I work out-of-state while I am away at college, do I have to report that money to Indiana?
    • Yes. You are still an Indiana resident, even if you go to school in another state.
    • Also, you may want to check the states’ revenue department where you worked. Each state has different tax laws. You may need to file a tax return with the other state as well.
    • If you have to file a return with the other state, you may be eligible for a credit in Indiana.
  1. Why do I owe Indiana tax when I do not owe any federal tax?

Federal and state tax laws and rates are not the same. It is possible to owe Indiana taxes and get a refund from your federal taxes in the same year.

  1. Does Indiana have a standard deduction for individual tax filers like the federal tax return?

No, but the first $1,000 that you make is exempt from tax. Everyone in Indiana gets a minimum $1,000 exemption. 

  1. Can my parent(s) or guardian(s) claim me as a dependent on their return?

Yes, if they claimed you as a dependent on their federal tax return.

  1. If my parent(s) or guardian(s) cannot claim me as a dependent on their return, can I claim myself?

Yes. Indiana allows all filers to claim their own exemption on their state return (even if your parents or guardians claimed you, too.)

  1. I owe taxes to Indiana but I cannot pay the entire bill by April 15. What can I do?

Pay as much of the bill as you can by April 15 to reduce the amount of penalty and interest that will be added to the bill.

As soon as you receive a bill from the department, call the number on the bill to see what payment options may be available.

Visit the Department's Individual Frequently Asked Questions for more information.