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New Colorado Resident | Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to file and/or pay income tax in Colorado?

You must file a Colorado income tax return if you fall into one of these categories:

  1. During the year you were a full-year, part-year or non-resident of Colorado with Colorado taxable income AND you were required to file a federal income tax return.
  2. You had a Colorado income tax liability for the year.
It is in your best interest to file a Colorado return even if you are expecting a refund. If you do not file a return and the Department has reason to believe you should have, a return will be filed on your behalf. This Department-filed return may not consider your unique tax situation and could result in a bill.

2. Do I need to make estimated tax payments for my Colorado income tax?

Yes, an individual (or married couple, if filing jointly) must remit Colorado estimated tax payments if their total Colorado tax liability exceeds $1,000. In the case of wage/salary income, the employer withholds the applicable amount of tax and remits it to the Department on the employee’s behalf. For other types of income, state income tax is generally not withheld. For more information, review the FYI Income 51 guidance publication.

3. How do I file an individual income tax return in Colorado?

Before you file your individual income tax return, you will need to complete the federal income tax return first. Then, you will use the figures from your federal return on your Colorado income tax return.

 
You may use Revenue Online to file electronically for free, if you have already obtained a Colorado driver license or ID card. If you do not have a Colorado driver license or ID card, you can use an approved third-party tax software to file electronically. If you cannot file electronically, use the Colorado Individual Income Tax Return Booklet (DR 0104 Book) to file your return.
 
For more information on filing income tax in Colorado, visit the Individual Income Tax web page.

4. What is a Colorado resident?

A Colorado resident is a person who has made a home in Colorado or a person whose intention is to be a Colorado resident. The Department will consider, among other things, Colorado voter registration, Colorado vehicle registration, Colorado driver license, school registration, property ownership and residence of spouse or children in determining intention to be a Colorado resident. 

5. How do I establish residency in Colorado?

You can establish residency in one of the following ways:

  • Own or operate a business in Colorado 
  • Are gainfully employed in Colorado
  • Reside in Colorado for 90 consecutive days

For more information, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles website. If you are living in Colorado for the purpose of attending a post-secondary educational institution, visit the Department of Higher Education website for information on establishing in-state residency.