I have seen several instances of taxpayers with their federal return filed on time, but their Hawaii return not filed. The explanation is that the taxpayer thought the return preparer e-filed both returns…but the return preparer had only e-filed the federal return. The original Hawaii return was in the “Client Records” packet.
Return preparer and CPA colleagues have told me that, for individuals, 5-15% of all Hawaii income tax returns cannot be e-filed, because something needs to be attached that cannot be e-filed.
I believe this sort of “miscommunication” scenario between a return preparer and taxpayer would warrant penalty relief from the State despite late filing not being a productive area for penalty abatement in most cases. The State might not be sympathetic several years from now, as taxes returns either result in a tax owed or a refund, and a follow-up from a taxpayer might be anticipated.
The best course of action now (May 2013) is to verify your 2012 Hawaii return was filed.