State of Hawaiʻi Tax Information

Important: UH staff cannot assist with completing tax returns. This page contains only general information. Contact the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation or a certified public accountant for if there are questions about state tax laws.

General information
How to determine which form to file
State Department of Taxation contact information


General information

Any person who is in Hawaiʻi for a temporary or transient purpose and whose permanent residence is not Hawaiʻi is considered a Hawaiʻi nonresident. Each year, a nonresident who earns income from Hawaiʻi sources must file a State of Hawaiʻi tax return and will be taxed only on income from Hawaiʻi sources. If the person has not received taxable income from a Hawaiʻi source during the past calendar year, a state tax return does not need to be filed.

Personal responsibility

In the U.S., it is each person’s responsibility to meet tax obligations. State governments will not automatically assess and collect taxes owed directly from a person’s income – each person must determine the amount of taxes due. If an individual fails to pay required taxes, the state government will impose penalties.

Withholding

Although the state does not deduct taxes directly from individuals, employers “withhold” (deduct) taxes from employees’ paychecks and pay those amounts directly to the U.S. government on each person’s behalf. At UH, foreign nationals who are paid salaries must provide estimates of the amount of income UH should withhold from their wages. After the year ends, UH issues a Form W-2 to each employee to show the both the amounts paid and withheld by UH. On the annual tax return, the individual must use the W-2 to reconcile the amount of tax owed with the U.S. government. If UH withheld more money than is owed in taxes during the year, the employee/appointee may claim a refund for the difference on their tax return.

An important exception to state withholding applies to persons receiving non-degree fellowships or stipend payments from a Hawaiʻi source (e.g. postdoctoral fellows) – these individuals receive Form 1042-S instead of Form W-2. UH is not required to withhold state taxes from fellowship or stipend payments, but they may be taxable. Since UH will not withhold state taxes from these types of payments throughout the year, the result is that an individual may owe a large amount of Hawaiʻi income tax that must be paid in full when they file their state tax return the following year. Therefore, anyone who receives these types of payments from UH should read State Department of Taxation Form N-1, “Declaration of Estimated Income Tax for Individuals.” Hawaiʻi law generally requires taxpayers who have income not subject to withholding to pay estimated income taxes if it results in a tax liability of $500 or more. If you do not pay estimated taxes this year and you owe at least $500 in taxes for the year, you may incur a penalty that will be added to your tax liability. Form N-1 for the current tax year should be used to make these quarterly estimated tax payments. The first payment for the current tax year is generally due on April 20th.

SSN or ITIN

A unique tax identification number must be stated on each person’s tax return. Foreign nationals who work in the U.S. should have a Social Security Number (SSN), while those who are in the U.S. and are not employed, but earn income through interest, investments, or rental properties must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

U.S. tax treaties do not apply to state taxes

International scholars who claim tax treaty benefits on their U.S. federal taxes may not claim those same benefits on their state tax return. Therefore, international scholars who are exempt from U.S. federal taxes due to a tax treaty may still be required to pay State of Hawaiʻi taxes.

Deadline

The deadline to file a State of Hawaiʻi tax return covering a given calendar year is generally April 20th of the following year. For example, if an international scholar was in Hawaiʻi and received Hawaiʻi source income at any time during 2015, they must file their state tax return with the State Department of Taxation by April 20, 2016.

It is possible to obtain an extension of this deadline. The State of Hawaiʻi has two extension periods. The first extension is granted for four months automatically – no form needs to be filed unless a payment is owed. If the person is making a payment and asking for an extension, then they must file Form N-101A and payment must be sent by due date of April 20th. To obtain an additional 2-month extension period, file Form N-101B. The applicant must give a valid reason, pay at least 90% of ultimate tax liability, sign, and submit the payment and form before the end of the first extension period. It is important to note that extension applications do not extend the time allowed to pay any taxes owed. Taxes are still due by April 20th.

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How to determine which form to file

Hawaiʻi nonresidents or part-year residents should file state Form N-15. A completed copy of the federal return must be attached to the N-15.

Full-year Hawaiʻi residents who do not itemize or adjust income and have less than $100,00 in taxable income should file state Form N-13.

Full-year Hawaiʻi residents filing a federal return should file state Form N-11.

More information

For examples and more information on how to complete the various forms, see:

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State Department of Taxation contact information

All state tax forms, instructions, and publications are available on the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation’s website, but if additional assistance is needed, the Department of Tax can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-222-3229. There are three local offices in Hawaiʻi.

On Oahu, the Department of Tax is located in downtown Honolulu in the Princess Ruth Keelikolani Building at 830 Punchbowl St. To get there by bus, visit the City and County of Honolulu’s TheBus website, where you can enter your starting and destination addresses to obtain transit directions.

  • Hours: 7:45 am – 4:30 pm on Mondays-Fridays; closed on weekends and state and federal holidays.
  • Phone: (808) 587-4242

On the island of Hawaiʻi (the Big Island), the Department of Tax has two offices: in Hilo at 75 Aupuni St. #101 and in Kona (Captain Cook) at 82-6130 Mamalahoa Hwy. #8. For public mass transit routes and information, visit the Hawaiʻi County’s Hele-On Bus website.

  • Hours: 7:45 am – 4:30 pm on Mondays-Fridays; closed on weekends and state and federal holidays.
  • Phone: Hilo (808) 974-6321; Kona (808) 323-4597

Kauai’s Department of Tax office is located in Lihue at 3060 Eiwa Street #105. For bus information, see Kauai County’s bus website.

  • Hours: 7:45 am – 4:30 pm on Mondays-Fridays; closed on weekends and state and federal holidays.
  • Phone: (808) 274-3456

Maui’s Department of Tax office is located in Wailuku at 54 S. High St. #208. Please visit Maui County’s Maui Bus website to obtain bus schedules and other information.

  • Hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm on Mondays-Fridays; closed on weekends and state and federal holidays.
  • Phone: (808) 984-8500

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