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IP 99(3.1)

Personal Taxes

This Informational Publication has been modified and superseded by IP 2001(12)

Purpose: This publication is a general guide to Connecticut taxes for individuals. Information on the income and alternative minimum taxes, admissions and dues, and sales tax, as well as succession, estate, gift, real estate conveyance, alcoholic beverage and cigarette, motor fuel and property taxes is included in this publication. While it does not answer every question about Connecticut taxes, it will provide answers to some of the most common inquiries. To order forms or publications or to get help, follow the instructions below.

Income Tax

The Connecticut income tax applies to Connecticut residents and to part-year residents and nonresidents with income from Connecticut sources. (See the instructions in the Connecticut income tax instruction booklets to determine your residency status.) The tax is computed on your Connecticut taxable income.

To compute your Connecticut taxable income, subtract your Connecticut personal exemption from your Connecticut adjusted gross income. If your Connecticut adjusted gross income is less than or equal to the maximum exemption amount for your filing status, you do not owe any Connecticut income tax.

Maximum personal exemption levels are:

$12,000 - single filer or married filing separately

For every $1,000 (or part of $1,000) of Connecticut adjusted gross income over $24,000, the exemption amount is reduced by $1,000.

$19,000 - head of household

For every $1,000 (or part of $1,000) of Connecticut adjusted gross income over $38,000, the exemption amount is reduced by $1,000.

$24,000 - married filing jointly

For every $1,000 (or part of $1,000) of Connecticut adjusted gross income over $48,000, the exemption amount is reduced by $1,000.

Tax rate: For taxable years after 1998, the tax rate is 3% on the first:

  • $10,000 of Connecticut taxable income for single filers and married taxpayers filing separately;
  • $16,000 of Connecticut taxable income for head of household filers; and
  • $20,000 of Connecticut taxable income for married taxpayers filing jointly.

The remaining income is taxed at 4.5%.

Credits: You may be eligible for a personal tax credit of between 1% and 75%, depending on your income level.

A property tax credit is also available to individual Connecticut taxpayers for property taxes paid to a Connecticut political subdivision on a primary residence or on a motor vehicle, or both. Generally, this credit is allowed for property tax bills first becoming due during 1999 and paid during 1999.

This credit is also allowed for second or later installments of property tax paid during 1999, where the first installment first became due during 1999. The maximum credit allowed for the 1999 taxable year is $425 per return. Supplemental property tax bills first becoming due during 1999 and paid during 1999 also qualify for this credit. However, the payment of any delinquent property tax bills or the payment of interest, fees or charges related to the property tax bill do not qualify for this credit.

If you paid more than $100 in qualifying property taxes, you may be subject to a limitation depending on your filing status and your Connecticut adjusted gross income. See Informational Publication 99(34), Q & A: Income Tax Credit for Property Taxes Paid to a Connecticut Political Subdivision, for more information.

Estimated Payments: Employers will withhold tax from the wages of residents and of nonresidents who work in Connecticut. You must make estimated Connecticut income tax payments if your Connecticut income tax (after tax credits) minus Connecticut income tax withheld is more than $500 and you expect your Connecticut tax withheld to be less than your required annual payment. Estimated payments are generally made in four equal installments: April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. If your income varies throughout the year, however, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the amount of one or more estimated payments by using the annualized installment method. See Informational Publication 99(35), Estimated Connecticut Income Taxes, and Informational Publication 99(33), A Guide to Calculating Your Annualized Estimated Income Tax Installments, for more information.

The Connecticut income tax return is due on or before April 15 for the preceding calendar year.

Alternative Minimum Tax
The Connecticut alternative minimum tax is a tax imposed on certain individuals, estates, and trusts in addition to the 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. The Connecticut alternative minimum tax is the lesser of:

  • 19% of your adjusted federal alternative minimum tax; or
  • 5% of your adjusted federal alternative minimum taxable income.

The tax must be reported on Form CT-6251, Connecticut Alternative Minimum Tax Return - Individual. See Informational Publication 94(2.4), Q & A: The Connecticut Alternative Minimum Tax, for further information.

Succession Tax

The Connecticut succession tax began to be phased out in 1997 and is scheduled for total repeal in 2005. For estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2001, any part of the net taxable estate passing to a Class A beneficiary will no longer be subject to the tax. For a resident decedent's estate, the tax applies to all property, except for real property and tangible personal property located outside Connecticut. For a nonresident decedent's estate, 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. There is a total exemption from tax if the entire estate passes to a surviving spouse. For information and tax tables applicable to estates of decedents dying after 1996, see Special Notice 95(18), 1995 Legislative Changes Affecting the Succession and Transfer Taxes and the Estate Tax.

Estate Tax

A "sponge" tax applies to resident and nonresident estates. The sponge tax is the amount by which the federal credit allowed for state death taxes exceeds the total death taxes actually paid to all states by an estate. It applies only to estates required to file a federal Form-706, Federal Estate Tax Return.

Gift Tax

Residents are taxed on all gifts of intangible property and on gifts of real property and tangible personal property located in Connecticut. Nonresidents are taxed on gifts of real and tangible personal property located in Connecticut.

Gifts of a present interest to any particular donee during the calendar year are not subject to the Connecticut gift tax unless the value of all the gifts to the donee during the calendar year exceeds $10,000. (The annual exclusion amount will be indexed for inflation after 1998 for federal and Connecticut gift tax purposes. However, there is no adjustment to the annual exclusion amount for 1999.) Transfers of future interests are not covered by this $10,000 annual exclusion.

The special valuation rules under I.R.C. §§2701 to 2704 (dealing with transfers to or for the benefit of family members) apply for Connecticut gift tax purposes. For example, if a donor delivers a deed transferring title to his home to his children and reserves a life use, the value of the gift equals:

  • the sum of the value of the life estate; and
  • the value of the remainder interest (that is, the full fair market value of the home).

For more details, see Informational Publication 99(9), A Guide to the Federal and Connecticut Gift Taxes, and Form CT-709, Connecticut Gift Tax Return.

Local Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes

Real estate and personal property are subject to this tax, with some statutory exemptions. Communities levy property tax to fund local government. Neither the state nor its counties levy a property tax. For further information contact the assessor in the city or town where the property is located or write to the Intergovernmental Policy Division, Office of Policy and Management, 450 Capitol Avenue, Mail Stop 54 FOR, Hartford, CT 06106-1308.

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.

Homeowner/Renter Tax Credit: An annual property tax credit or rent rebate is available to residents, age 65 or older, or to a surviving spouse, age 50 or older, who meet certain residence and income requirements. Regardless of age, a totally and permanently disabled person is also eligible. Contact the local assessor in your town or city hall for details and forms.

Veteran Exemption: A variable, annual tax exemption on the assessed value of an owner-occupied dwelling or on a motor vehicle is available to any qualified veteran or surviving spouse. Contact the local assessor in your town or city hall for details and forms for any of the above.

Real Estate Conveyance Tax

A state and municipal real estate conveyance tax is imposed on deeds conveying real estate where the consideration for the interest in property equals or exceeds $2,000. A deed for no consideration or less than $2,000 in consideration is exempt from this tax, but may be subject to the gift tax. A deed of the principal residence of any person receiving property tax benefits for the elderly is exempt from the state tax but subject to the municipal tax. The state 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) 1.0%
Nonresidential property (other than unimproved land) 0.5%
Residential dwelling (portion not exceeding $800,000) 1.0%
Residential dwelling (portion exceeding $800,000) 0.5%
Property conveyed by a delinquent mortgagor* 0.5%

* If mortgage payments are more than six months delinquent and property is conveyed to a financial institution.

Those conveying the property pay the state and municipal taxes. 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.

Sales and Use Taxes

A 6% tax is imposed on the sale or rental of most goods and the sale of certain services. However, there are exemptions: food; all purchases made with food stamps; utility charges for residential property; household fuel; prescription drugs; certain nonprescription drugs; clothing under $50; materials for noncommercial sewing used to make clothing; yarn; newspapers; magazine subscriptions.

The tax on paving, painting or staining, wallpapering, roofing, siding, and exterior sheet metal work to other than industrial, commercial or income-producing real property is being phased out. On and after July 1, 1999, the tax is 4%; on and after July 1, 2000, the tax is 2%; on and after July 1, 2001, the services are exempt from tax.

When the seller of goods or provider of taxable services does not collect the sales tax, the buyer must pay use tax at the same rate as the sales tax. Individuals must file a use tax return annually to report purchases of goods or services on which Connecticut sales tax was not paid.

Typically, if you purchased goods from mail order or catalog companies or over the Internet and had the goods shipped to Connecticut or you purchased goods at out-of-state locations and brought those goods back into Connecticut, you must pay the Connecticut use tax if you did not pay Connecticut sales tax. You must pay the use tax for purchases you made during the prior calendar year on either your Connecticut income tax return or on Form OP-186, Connecticut Individual Use Tax, on or before April 15.

See Special Notice 99(7), 1999 Legislation Affecting Sales and Use Taxes and the Admissions, Cabaret and Dues Tax, and Informational Publication 99(28), Q & A on the Connecticut Individual Use Tax, for more information.

Room Occupancy Tax

A room occupancy tax of 12% applies to the rental of rooms in a hotel or lodging house for 30 consecutive days or less.

Motor Fuel Tax

An excise tax is imposed on motor vehicle fuel. This tax is included in the per gallon purchase price as calculated at the metered pump. The tax rate is 32¢ per gallon for gasoline, 31¢ per gallon for gasohol, and 18¢ per gallon for diesel fuel.

Motor Vehicle Fees

There is a two-year registration fee of $70 for passenger cars. Upon renewal, there is an additional $4 Clean Air Act fee for all classes of motor vehicles. Operator licenses are issued every four years for $35.50. For general information, contact the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-842-8222.

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 1-800-842-8222.

Alcoholic Beverage and Cigarette Taxes

Alcoholic beverage, cigarette and tobacco products taxes are included in the retail selling price of such items. However, 6% sales and use taxes also apply at the time of sale.

Alcoholic beverage taxes are assessed as follows:

per wine gallon: 
distilled liquor $4.50
fortified and sparkling wines                           $1.50
still wines                                                       $0.60
still wines (from licensed farm winery)            $0.15
beer $0.20
($3.00 per half barrel, $1.25 per quarter barrel)
liquor coolers                                                $2.05

Most alcoholic cider is taxed at the beer rate. See Special Notice 97(6), 1997 Legislative Changes to the Alcoholic Beverages Tax Affecting Wines and Cider, for more information.

The cigarette tax is 50¢ per pack of 20. The tobacco products tax (excluding cigarettes) is 20% of the wholesale sales price.

Admissions and Dues Tax

The dues tax is a 10% tax levied on dues and initiation fees of a social, athletic, or sporting club that is either owned or operated by its members. The club is exempt from the dues tax if the annual dues of every member and any initiation fee are each $100 or less. Lawn bowling clubs are exempt from dues tax.

A 10% admissions tax applies to admission charges to any place of amusement, entertainment or recreation. Certain venues are specifically exempt from admissions tax. Productions featuring live entertainment by actors or musicians at non-profit theaters and playhouses exempt under I.R.C. §501 are exempt from the tax. Also exempt from the tax are admission charges of $5.00 or less to motion picture shows and admission charges to carnivals and amusement rides.

The cabaret tax was repealed as of July 1, 1999. The cabaret tax was a 5% tax imposed on all amounts charged for admission, food and drink, and service or merchandise at any cabaret or similar place furnishing music, dancing privileges or any other entertainment for profit in conjunction with the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages.

Admission charges (including cover charges) to most establishments formerly subject to the cabaret tax are now subject to the 10% admissions tax rather than the 5% cabaret tax. However, charges for food, beverages, merchandise and service sold in such establishments are not subject to admissions tax.

EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: An Informational Publication (IP) is a document that addresses frequently-asked questions about a current Department position, policy or practice, usually in a less technical format.

EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: Informational Publication 99(3.1) modifies and supersedes Informational Publication 99(3), Personal Taxes.

IP 99(3.1)
Issued: 12/21/99
Replaces: IP 99(3) (Issued 2/10/99)