When, Where, and How to File Your North Carolina Return

When to File Your Return

If you file your return on a calendar year basis, the 2020 return is due on or before April 15th, 2021.  A fiscal year return is due on the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of the taxable year.  When the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the return is due on or before the next business day.  A fiscal year return should be filed on a tax form for the year in which the fiscal year  begins.  For example, a 2020 tax form should be used for a fiscal year beginning in 2020.  See Directive TA-16-1, When a North Carolina Tax Return or Other Document is Considered Timely Filed or a Tax is Considered Timely Paid if the Due Date Falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Legal Holiday.

Out of the Country: If you are out of the country on the original due date of the return, you are granted an automatic four month extension to file your North Carolina individual income tax return if you fill in the "Out of Country" circle on Page 1 of Form D-400.  "Out of the Country" means you live outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of work is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or you are in military service outside the United States and Puerto Rico.  The time for payment of the tax is also extended; however, interest is due on any unpaid tax from the original due date of the return until the tax is paid.

Nonresident Aliens: Nonresident aliens are required to file returns at the same time they are required to file their federal returns.

If you are unable to pay the tax due, you should still file your return by the due date to avoid the failure to file penalty. You may be eligible to enter into a payment agreement with the Department of Revenue.

How to File Your Return

For accurate and efficient processing, the Department strongly recommends taxpayers use an electronic eFile option to file their returns.

For taxpayers filing using paper forms, you should send us...

  • Your North Carolina income tax return (Form D-400).
  • Federal forms W-2 and 1099 showing the amount of North Carolina tax withheld as reported on Form D-400, Line 20.
  • Federal Form 1099-R if you claimed a Bailey retirement deduction on Form D-400 Schedule S, Line 21.
  • Form D-400 Schedule S if you added items to federal adjusted gross income on Form D-400, Line 7, or you deducted items from federal adjusted gross income on Form D-400, Line 9.
  • Form D-400 Schedule A if you deducted N.C. itemized deductions on Form D-400, Line 11.
  • Form D-400 Schedule PN if you entered a taxable percentage on Form D-400, Line 13.
  • Form D-400 Schedule PN-1 if you entered an amount on Form D-400 Schedule PN, Part B, Line 17e or Line 19h.
  • Form D-400TC and, if applicable, Form NC-478 and Form NC-Rehab if you claimed a tax credit on Form D-400, Line 16.
  • A copy of the tax return you filed in another state or country if you claimed a tax credit for tax paid to another state or country on Form D-400TC, Line 7a.
  • A copy of your federal tax return unless your federal return reflects a North Carolina address.
  • Other required North Carolina forms or supporting schedules.

Where to File Your Return

Taxpayers using eFile will have their returns processed electronically once they are submitted.

For taxpayers filing using paper forms:

  • If you expect a refund, be sure to mail your return to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, PO Box R, Raleigh, NC 27634-0001.  
  • If you owe taxes, mail your return and payment to the North Carolina Department of Revenue , PO Box 25000, Raleigh, NC 27640-0640.  Make your check or money order payable to the NC Department of Revenue.  Important: The Department will not accept a check, money order, or cashier's check unless it is drawn on a U.S. (domestic) bank and the funds are payable in U.S. dollars.

If You Need Help With Your Return

If you are unable to get help filling out your North Carolina return, you can contact a service center for assistance or call toll-free at 1-877-252-3052. Your federal return must be completed before we can assist you in filling out your North Carolina return.

If you are disabled, have a low income, or are a senior citizen, income tax returns can be prepared free of charge through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. For location and dates of assistance call the Internal Revenue Service toll-free at 1-800-829-1040.