On my resume I have a line that reads:

-Prepared Federal and state tax returns for individuals......

Should state be capitalized? I usually capitalize Federal in my job when I write "Federal tax return". Should Federal be capitalized?

closed as primarily opinion-based by TrevorD, p.s.w.g, MetaEd, Kristina Lopez, choster Aug 5 '13 at 18:07

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  • 1
    Just run a google search, both seem to be used by official US government pages. – terdon Aug 2 '13 at 17:26
  • I think the capitalization of Federal reflects a reference, usually clear from context, to a specific national government (possibly the US government, but note "Federal Republic of Germany" prior to unification). – hardmath Aug 2 '13 at 21:37

No, “federal tax return” and “state tax return” are not proper nouns and so nothing is capitalized. If they were you would have to capitalize the whole thing, i.e. “Federal Tax Return” and “State Tax Return”. But in this case “federal” and “state” are just generic adjectives.

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