Individual Income Tax | Frequently Asked Questions

The passage of Proposition 116 recently changed the Colorado income tax rate. The new Colorado income tax rate is 4.55%, beginning in the 2020 tax year. 

In 2019, the Colorado income tax rate was temporarily reduced to 4.50%, because a TABOR refund mechanism was triggered. From 2000 to 2018, the Colorado income tax rate was 4.63%. 

Yes, Colorado state income tax is different from federal income tax. You must determine your federal income tax by preparing your federal return first. Then you can complete the Colorado return. For information on how to file your federal return and for links to federal/state free filing services, see the Internal Revenue Service website.

No, the Colorado Department of Revenue does not require taxpayers to attach a copy of the federal return to the Colorado return.

Your Colorado income tax filing status will always be the same as your federal filing status. For example, if you filed as single on your federal tax return, you would file as single on your Colorado Income Tax Return.

Visit the Retiree web page to learn more about these subtractions. 

Pay stubs do not usually have the employer's FEIN on them. The FEIN is required when taxpayers file their income tax, whether electronically or on paper. The Colorado Department of Revenue verifies the FEINs to ensure the employer has paid the taxpayer's withholding tax. When there is no FEIN with the income tax filing or the FEIN is incorrect, the taxpayer will be required to communicate with the department to verify withholding, which will delay refund processing.

The state does not retain paper copies of taxpayers W-2s. However, there are several options for obtaining this information:

  • Contact your employer or previous employer to obtain a copy.
  • If you have your final pay stub that includes the amount of taxes withheld for Colorado, you can use this information to electronically file your state income tax return or to fill out a Substitute Colorado W-2 Form (DR 0084) to send with your paper return.

For federal W-2 information you must contact the IRS.

Yes, you can file jointly if you filed jointly on your federal return. For more information, visit the Common-Law Marriage web page.

If you are new to Colorado, visit the New Colorado Resident FAQ web page. If you moved away from Colorado, visit the Part-Year Resident web page.

Yes, you do need to file a return to report all Colorado derived income. Visit the Nonresident web page web page for more information.

Visit the Military Servicemembers web page for information. Information for military family members is on the Active Duty Servicemembers web page. 

Visit the Deceased Taxpayer web page for information on how to file a return. This page covers both filing jointly or filing as single for the deceased taxpayer.

If you filed your Colorado income tax return and now have an additional W-2 that changes your tax due or refund amount, you must use an amended income tax return form (DR 0104X) to correct the filing. Filing on a different form may cause delays in return processing and/or cause you to be billed.

Year-end 1099 statements are mailed in January to inform recipients about income they received during the previous year. The 1099-G is issued by government agencies such as the Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor and Employment for use in filling out your federal income tax return.

The IRS requires the Colorado Department of Revenue to provide Form 1099-G to taxpayers who may have itemized deductions on their federal return the previous year. The form is in postcard format. A separate copy of your 1099-G is sent to the IRS.

Amounts on this form include:

  • Colorado income tax refund you received the prior year
  • Consumer Use Tax paid on the DR 0104
  • Overpayment credited to the following year's estimated tax
  • Overpayment applied to a prior year's balance due
  • Overpayment intercepted by the IRS or by a state agency
  • Contributions to any of the voluntary checkoff funds

Taxpayers who itemized their deductions using Schedule A on last year's federal return must use this information to complete their federal return this year. Taxpayers who took the standard deduction on last year's federal return generally will not report the refund on their federal return.

If you do not receive the 1099-G in the mail, sign up for access and log into your account through our Revenue Online service to view the amount of last year's Colorado refund that was reported to you on Form 1099-G. If there is no record of a 1099-G in your account, you may not have received a taxable income tax refund last year.

Instructions for how to request copies of your previously filed tax returns can be found on the Request Tax Return Copies web page. 

Instructions for how to grant access are on the Third-Party Access web page. You may need to sign up for Revenue Online prior to granting access to your income tax account

The amount shown in the ownership tax ("OWN. TAX") section of your vehicle registration receipt can be claimed as an itemized deduction on your federal income tax return.

This is not claimed on your Colorado income tax return because the figure has already been taken out of your federal taxable income when you start to complete your Colorado return. The ownership tax is listed on the back of the car registration receipt with the address listed.