This Informational Publication has been superseded by IP 92(3.4)
INTRODUCTION: This publication is intended as a general guide to Connecticut taxes on individuals. While it does not answer every question about Connecticut taxes, it will provide answers to some of the most common inquiries.
INCOME TAX: There is a Connecticut income tax on Connecticut residents and on nonresidents who have income from Connecticut sources (including trusts and estates). Income that is taxable for federal purposes is, in general, also taxable for Connecticut income tax purposes. The Connecticut income tax rate is 4.5% of Connecticut taxable income. To compute your Connecticut taxable income, subtract your Connecticut personal exemption from your Connecticut adjusted gross income.
Maximum personal exemption levels are:
- $12,000 - single filers (or married filing separately) with adjusted gross income up to $24,000.
- $19,000 - head of household with adjusted gross income up to $38,000.
- $24,000 - married filing jointly with adjusted gross income up to $48,000.
Exemptions are reduced by $1,000 for every additional $1,000 of adjusted gross income. Tax credits from 10% to 75% may also be available, depending upon income level.
Employers will withhold tax from the wages of residents and of nonresidents who work in Connecticut. Those who expect to owe more than $200 in Connecticut income tax for the year, in addition to Connecticut income tax withheld from wages or pension income, should make estimated income tax payments.
Estimates are due at the same time as federal estimated payments:
- April 15
- June 15
- September 15
- January 15
The tax return is due on or before April 15 for the preceding calendar year.
INHERITANCE TAX: There is a Connecticut succession tax. For a Connecticut resident, the tax applies to all property, except for real property and tangible personal property which is located outside Connecticut. For nonresidents, it applies only to real property and tangible personal property located in Connecticut. The tax rate depends on the relationship of the beneficiary to the decedent and the size of the estate. Rates are progressive from 4.29%. There is a total exemption from tax if the entire estate passes to a surviving spouse.
ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX: The Connecticut alternative minimum tax is a tax imposed on certain individuals, estates and trusts in addition to their regular Connecticut income tax. Taxpayers who are subject to and required to pay the federal alternative minimum tax are subject to the Connecticut alternative minimum tax. For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 1993, the tax is computed on the lesser of 19% of the adjusted federal tentative minimum tax or 5% of the adjusted federal alternative minimum taxable income.
ESTATE TAX: There is a "sponge" tax. The tax is that amount by which the federal credit allowed for state death taxes exceeds the total death taxes actually paid to all states. It is applicable only to very large estates, usually in excess of $3 million.
GIFT TAX: Gifts by resident and nonresident individual donors are subject to the Connecticut gift tax. Residents are taxed on all gifts of intangible property and of real property and tangible personal property situated in Connecticut. Nonresidents are taxed on gifts of real and tangible personal property situated in Connecticut and on intangible personal property within Connecticut if employed in carrying on a trade or business in Connecticut.
The first $10,000 ($20,000 where spouses elect to gift split) of gifts to any donee during the calendar year of a present (not future) interest in property is excluded from the tax.
PROPERTY TAX: Real estate and personal property are subject to this tax, with some statutory exemptions. It is levied by communities to fund local government. Neither the state nor its counties levy a property tax.
All property is assessed at 70% of value at the time of the last municipal revaluation, except for motor vehicles which are assessed at 70% of average retail value and personal property is assessed at 70% of the current market value.
October 1 is the assessment date for all municipalities. All owners of personal property, other than registered motor vehicles, must file a declaration with the assessor on or before November 1.
Property tax relief is available to persons who have reached the age of 65, provided they meet certain residence and income requirements. There is no age requirement for those who are 100% disabled. Application for this relief must be made at the local assessor's office.
REAL ESTATE CONVEYANCE TAX: There is a municipal conveyance tax imposed on deeds conveying real estate. The tax rate is eleven one-hundredths of one percent of the consideration received for the real property.
There is also a state conveyance tax imposed on deeds conveying real estate. The tax rate on the consideration received for the real estate is as follows:
Type of real estate Rate
Unimproved land 0.5%
Residential property (other than residential dwelling) 0.5%
Nonresidential property (other than unimproved land) 1.0%
- Portion not exceeding $800,000 0.5%
- Portion exceeding $800,000 1.0%
Property conveyed by a delinquent mortgagor*
(if mortgage payments are more than six months
delinquent conveyed to a financial institution) 0.5%
The state and municipal taxes are paid by those conveying the property. The grantor/seller must present a separate check to the Town Clerk, payable to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, in payment of the state tax when recording the deed. There are certain exemptions, including an exemption for deeds where the consideration received is less than $2,000.
SALES AND USE TAXES: There is a 6% tax on the sale or rental of most goods and certain services. However, there are exemptions: food; purchases made with food stamps; real property rentals; utility charges for residential property; household fuel; prescription drugs; certain non-prescription drugs; clothing under $50 (including children's clothing), materials for sewing; newspaper and magazine subscriptions. A room occupancy tax of 12% applies to the rental of rooms in a hotel or lodging house for 30 consecutive days or less.
A Form OP-186, Individual Use Tax Return should be filed annually for any taxable purchases brought into the state for use in this state when the purchase price exceeds $25. The use tax is due on all taxable purchases made by telephone and mail order. (The $25 exclusion from tax does not apply to telephone and mail order purchases.) If the purchase was subject to the tax of another state, the difference between the Connecticut tax rate and that of the other state should be reported. Long-held possessions of a family moving to Connecticut are not subject to this tax.
MOTOR FUEL TAX: There is a 32 ¢ per gallon state tax on motor fuel used to propel highway vehicles, 31 ¢ per gallon tax on gasohol and 18 per gallon tax on diesel fuel.
MOTOR VEHICLE FEES: There is a two year registration fee of $70 for passenger cars; operator licenses are issued every four years for $35.50. For general information, contact the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles at 203-566-4710 or 1-800-842-8222.
SPECIAL INTEREST LICENSE PLATES: Motorists interested in purchasing a Long Island Sound license plate may call 1-800-CT-SOUND or write to Long Island Sound Fund, 60 State Street, Wethersfield, CT, 06109. Information about other special interest license plates is available from the Special Interest License Plate Unit at the same address.
BOAT REGISTRATION FEES: There is an annual registration fee for boats in lieu of a local property tax. For information, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at 203-566-3781.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE AND CIGARETTE TAXES: Alcoholic beverage taxes are assessed as follows:
distilled liquor $4.50
fortified and sparkling wines $1.50
still wines $ .60
beer $ .20
liquor coolers $2.05
Beer barrels are taxed at $6.00 per barrel.
The cigarette tax is 50 ¢ per pack of 20. The tobacco products tax (excluding cigarettes) is 20% of the wholesale price.
ADMISSIONS, DUES AND CABARET TAX: A 10% tax is levied on dues and initiation fees of social, athletic, and sporting clubs, but not organizations operating under the "lodge" system.
A 10% admissions tax applies to admissions charges of $1 or more to places of amusement, entertainment or recreation. However, any production featuring live entertainment by actors or musicians at non-profit theaters and playhouses exempt under 501 of the Internal Revenue Code is exempt from the tax. Also, exempt from the tax are admission charges of $1.99 or less to motion picture shows and admission charges to carnivals and to amusement rides. A 5% cabaret tax generally applies to charges for food, drink, admissions, or merchandise where music, entertainment or dancing privileges are furnished in conjunction with the sale or serving of alcoholic beverages for profit.
RELATED FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS: You may request:
IP 92(4.2) State Tax Tips For Senior Citizens
IP 92(5.4) Estimated Income Taxes
OP-186 Connecticut Individual Use Tax Return
Form CT-709 Connecticut Gift Tax Return
IP 94(1) A Guide to the Federal and Connecticut Gift Taxes
EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: An Informational Publication is a document that addresses issues frequently raised by taxpayers. It is less technical in nature than a Policy Statement, but may be referred to by individual taxpayers for guidance.
EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: IP 92(3.3) modifies and supersedes IP 92(3.2) which may no longer be relied upon on or after this date.
FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS: Forms and publications are available all day, seven days a week:
- Internet: Preview and download forms and publications from the DRS Web site: http://www.ct.gov/drs
- Telephone: Call 860-297-4753 (from anywhere), or 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free within Connecticut) and select Option 2 from a touch-tone phone.
Replaces: IP92(3.2) (Issued 9/13/93)