When you’re filing your federal taxes, plenty of the rules and requirements can leave you scratching your head. You can write off this, but not that. You can claim this credit, but only in this particular circumstance. It’s enough to get anyone confused.
But when we look at some of the state tax codes, we can see that the federal rules are pretty darn mundane compared to the rules put in place by state lawmakers from coast to coast. So let’s take a look at some of those weird state tax laws – and take a minute to be grateful they don’t apply across all 50 states!
1. In California, people who were persecuted by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 don’t have to pay taxes at all! Not sure there are too many people who can claim this living in the Sunshine State these days, but we suppose you never know!
2. Charitable donations can help you on your federal taxes – but did you know that in South Carolina, donating a dead deer to the poor can get you a $50 state tax write-off? Mmm, venison.
3. If you farm shellfish in Maryland, you should choose your business wisely – oyster farmers there get a tax break, but if you farm any other kind of shellfish, you’re out of luck.
4. Live in Hawaii? Aside from being in paradise, you can get a nice little sum from the government if you grow state-approved trees – a $3000 tax write-off, to be exact.
5. Living to 100 is quite a feat, anyone would agree – and apparently, New Mexico lawmakers wanted to reward those who had made it that far. Once you hit 100 years old there, you don’t have to worry about taxes anymore – as long as you can’t be claimed as a dependent by anyone.
6. Ever heard of the “jock tax?” In many cities and states across the country, when an athlete (or entertainer) earns income for playing there, tax on that income is owed to that city or state government.
7. Really, Tennessee? In that state, drug dealers are required to anonymously pay taxes on any income they’ve received from selling illegal drugs. Wonder how that’s working for them…
8. Similarly, even though marijuana remains illegal in most states, those same states also tax any proceeds coming from the sale of marijuana. Huh?
These are far from the only wacky, unusual state tax laws out there – so filing your federal and state taxes can sometimes get pretty hairy. That is, unless you file with E-file.com. Our software walks you through your taxes with a series of simple questions, so you know you’re on track every step of the way. So whether you’re an oyster farmer from Maryland, a traveling entertainer, a deer hunter in South Carolina, or a Hawaiian growing some state approved trees, we’ve got you covered.