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Category: North Carolina

North Carolina Subtractions from Income

Retirement Benefits Received by Vested Government Retirees (Bailey Settlement)

As a result of the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Bailey v. State of North Carolina, North Carolina may not tax certain retirement benefits received by retirees (or by beneficiaries of retirees) of the State of North Carolina and its local governments or by United States government retirees (including military). The exclusion applies to retirement benefits received from certain defined benefit plans, such as the North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, the North Carolina Local Governmental Employees’ Retirement System, the North Carolina Consolidated Judicial Retirement System, the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, or the United States Civil Service Retirement System, if the retiree had five or more years of creditable service as of August 12, 1989. The exclusion also applies to retirement benefits received from the State’s §401(k) and §457 plans if the retiree had contributed or contracted to contribute to the plan prior to August 12, 1989. The exclusion does not apply to local government §457 plans or to §403(b) annuity plans. Benefits from other State, local, and federal retirement plans may or may not be excluded depending on rulings in the Bailey case. The exclusion does not apply to retirement benefits paid to former teachers and state employees of other states and their political subdivisions.

A retiree entitled to exclude retirement benefits from North Carolina income tax should claim a deduction on Line 8 for the amount of excludable retirement benefits included in federal taxable income. Even if all your retirement is excludable under Bailey, you must still file a North Carolina return if you meet the minimum gross filing requirements. Important: If you qualify for this deduction, you do not qualify for the deduction for retirement benefits of up to $4,000 for the same federal, state, and local government retirement benefits.

Taxable Portion of Social Security and Railroad Retirement Benefits

Social security and railroad retirement benefits are not subject to State income tax. Enter any Title 2 social security benefits received under the Social Security Act and any Tier 1 or Tier 2 railroad retirement benefits received under the Railroad Retirement Act that were included in federal taxable income. Railroad Retirement Act benefits include railroad unemployment insurance benefits and railroad sickness benefits.

 

Interest From United States Obligations

Enter the amount of interest received from notes, bonds, and other obligations of the United States (such as U.S. savings bonds, treasury notes and bills, etc.) or United States possessions.

Adjustment for Bonus Depreciation

 

North Carolina did not adopt the 50 percent bonus depreciation provisions in IRC section 168(k) for tax year 2008 or in IRC sections 168(k) or 168(n) for tax years 2009 and 2010. Similarly, North Carolina did not adopt the provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 which extended the 50 percent bonus depreciation through 2011 or the Tax Relief Act of 2010 which doubled and extended bonus depreciation from 50 percent to 100 percent for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 8, 2010 and before January 1, 2012. The Tax Relief Act makes 50 percent bonus depreciation available for qualified property placed in service after December 31, 2011 and before January 1, 2013. Certain long-lived property and transportation property is eligible for 100 percent expensing if placed in service before January 1, 2013. Any amount added to federal taxable income or federal adjusted gross income on the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 State returns may be deducted in five equal installments beginning with the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 State returns, respectively. Therefore, enter 20 percent of the bonus depreciation added back on the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 State returns.

 

Adjustment for Section 170 Expense Added Back in Prior Years

North Carolina did not conform to the increased expense deduction or increased investment limit for section 179 property but rather maintained theexpense deduction and investment limit allowed under the Internal Revenue Code as of May 1, 2010. Any amount added to federal taxable income or federal adjusted gross income on your 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 returns may be deducted in five equal installments beginning with the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 State returns, your 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 State returns.

 

Other Deductions From Your NC Taxable Income

  • You may deduct $250 if you were an unpaid volunteer firefighter or an unpaid volunteer rescue squad worker who attended at least 36 hours of fire department drills and meetings or 36 hours of rescue squad training and meetings during 2013 An individual may not claim a deduction as both a volunteer firefighter and a volunteer rescue squad worker. In the case of a married couple filing a joint return, each spouse may qualify separately for the deduction.
  • If you itemized your deductions and claimed the mortgage interest tax credit on your federal return because you participated in the mortgage credit certificate (MCC) program, you may deduct the amount shown on Line 3 of Federal Form 8396.
  • If you claim the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credit on your federal return in lieu of the deduction for higher education expenses allowed under Section 222 of the Internal Revenue Code, you may claim a deduction of up to $4,000 for the Code Section 222 qualifying expenses.