No tax is more objectionable to me than the Kansas City, MO earnings tax. While I can somehow justify federal, state, county, property and sales taxes that may be needed to maintain the welfare of the country, state, schools in my community, etc., there is no discernible benefit I can see resulting from me paying a share of my earnings to the greedy inhabitants of Kansas City, MO. I’d rather burn the money than give it to the city that mugs non-residents for one percent of their income just because it can’t generate enough money from its own residents and/or sales and business activity. Unfortunately burning the money doesn’t absolve a person from paying taxes. I know, I know – many other cities have earnings tax and somewhere in Philadelphia it is over 4.5% so you don’t need to try to convince me that it’s a great idea; by some strange coincidence 100% of the people who like the earnings tax reside inside the city limits of the KCMO. I don’t and I don’t.
Back to the tax advice part of this post. If your place of employment is located in Kansas City,MO but you worked at least one full day outside the city limits i.e. went to an out-of-town conference or spent a day at the customer site in the beautiful Johnson County AND you are a non-resident, you are owed a refund. Lets say that you made $100,000 last year and Kansas City wants to confiscate $1,000 from you just because your employer made a horrible mistake when picking a location for the business. If you work 260 days a year, your earnings tax is little less than four dollars a day, therefore, if you traveled for 20 days that year you are owed close to $80. These calculations will not come up in your tax software, you will have to fill out a form and provide some supporting documentation such as travel records or an appointment book.
Lots of work for just a few dollars a day? When was the last time the city of Kansas City let you get away without paying for a parking ticket? Get your money back! They are counting on your inaction so they can keep your money. Even if your refund is five bucks it will require a lot more than 5 dollars worth of work at the City Hall, they will read your forms, review your paperwork, issue a check, buy a stamp – more action than you will ever get for your money, and you will spend your money the way you see fit, hopefully in your own community, where people are thankful for your business.