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What is State Tax Relief?

By Jessica Hobby
Updated May 17, 2024
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State tax relief refers to programs which reduce or eliminate an individual’s or business’s state tax liability. These programs are commonly referred to as “tax breaks,” “tax deductions” or “tax write-offs.” Additionally, they are enacted and added to the state tax code through the state legislature.

Each state offers different types of tax relief for different individual and business circumstances. Businesses and individuals who wish to benefit from state tax relief must meet specific requirements. Some requirements are a specific income level, age or property ownership.

One of the most common types of state tax relief is tax deductions offered to property owners. For example, individual homeowners receive tax breaks for building or buying in certain areas. Some states also grant tax breaks to renters. Business owners may also receive tax relief for building or buying in certain areas. Typically, these tax concessions are offered as incentives for promoting economic growth in a particular state or area.

Another type of relief is disaster relief. When a large natural disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or flood, occurs, states typically provide tax concessions to aid in disaster recovery. These tax breaks are usually in the form of sales tax exemptions, especially on goods and services necessary to rebuilding.

People who fall in the lowest income brackets of a country often receive significant tax breaks. In some cases, state programs will help those who have paid very little or no taxes receive a tax refund. A large portion of students, the elderly and disabled people fall into the low-income category and subsequently receive tax relief.

Another type of state tax relief is given when an individual or business falls behind in paying taxes. If an individual or business is able to prove hardship, state tax relief may be granted. This type of tax relief is typically in the form of a payment plan or leniency on eligible tax deductions. In some cases, an individual or business may receive a reduction in tax rates, penalties and fees. This situation is more likely to occur in a declining or stale economy.

In order to gain the most benefits from state tax relief, individuals and businesses must use all the tools at their disposal. Specific information about state tax relief programs is available online. Additionally, tax attorneys and accountants offer specialized knowledge which can help to interpret long and complicated tax codes.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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