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Post Info TOPIC: Workamping 6-1/2 months


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Workamping 6-1/2 months


I'm looking at a 6-1/2 month working job not in my domiciled state. Might such a long-term job cause the new state to see me as a resident, with all the complications that might bring about? Would multiple 3-month jobs in different states be a safer alternative?



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Warren


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I don't play a lawyer on TV…but in my opinion it depends. Do you still own property, rent a house/apartment in the old state, keep your car tags and mailing address in the old state, vote, have banks, etc? If so…then I would say you have no problems. If you do any of that in the temporary state then maybe not.

Of course…the new state needs to figure this out…and depending on where you paycheck comes from and what state they're located in, the state tax rules (or not) for both states) you may need to file a non resident tax return in the second state. My guess its that most states just aren't smart enough to figure it out unless you registered to vote, registered your car, or something else that tripped their "he lives here now" senses.

We are domiciled in FL but have paid non resident VA tax to VA since we were on the road in 2012 for my wife's part time job at a VA community college. We only paid VA tax on her VA income…the rest of it…both pensions and investment income…we did not since we were first SD residents and now FL, neither of which have a state tax. We also pay AL tax on distributions from my family owned timber company…but again as a non resident return and only on the income earned in AL.

 



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Neil,

Thanks for the reply. I'm not looking for a legal answer from anyone (that's my responsibility); I am just hoping to get some answers based on experience. I have everything is set up in the "old" state (to which I would return every winter) except proprerty, which I don't own. I have paid taxes simultaneously in more than one state, but it's never been an issue of residency, as the time and amounts have been slim. My concern is that living and being paid for over half the year would allow that state to claim me. Then I'd be in a mess. Yes, it's possible the temporary state wouldn't perceive of my status, but I'm not sure I want to test it. From reading forums, I think others have run into this. I think I'll play it safe until I'm sure. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Ameanderer

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Warren


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While many states may not figure it out, you need to research any specific state. Since we journey through California each spring and fall, a tax accountant we know cautioned us about CA's part-time resident rules. CA obviously has a large tax deficit and with a little research I discovered that if you work there, regardless of where your home is, and you are there for more than 90 days they consider you a part time resident and expect you to pay income taxes accordingly. 6 months and you are considered a full time resident. My understanding is that CA is pretty aggressive about enforcing their tax rules.

I honestly don't know how they could track this if you were moving around regularly, but if you were receiving a paycheck in CA, with CA state taxes removed, you would have to file CA income taxes.

For us personally, we err on the side of caution, passing through CA spring and fall for just a month at a time as we move north and south, definitely less than the 90 day part-time resident rule.

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Yes, California is the most agressive state to capture any monies they can. I lived there for 15 years. I'm beginning to think that I should not work more than 90 days in any one state at a time. If so, this is really restrictive. Thanks for your input.

Ameanderer

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Warren


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Yup! Six months is the magic key. Besides doesn't this state withhold?

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LarryW21 wrote:

Yup! Six months is the magic key. Besides doesn't this state withhold?


 I think most states withhold if there is a state income tax and you obviously need to file a return for wages earned in that state and to get your refund. Filing a return and them claiming you're domicile there and hence owe state tax on all your income is a different matter entirely…which I think was the original question. As long as you maintain your domicile elsewhere and don't do anything to make yourself a domicilee of the new state I think a non resident return can be filed. One would hand to check the particular state to see if they defined 6 months as no longer a non resident return of course. 

 



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Neil,

Thanks for another reply. I think you raise the most important clue to my question: check the state's definition of domicile. If the state says you are a resident after working there 6 months, then I won't consider a 6-1/2-month job there and jeopardize my domicile standing with the first state. Thanks for pointing out to me the obvious (duh).

ameaderer

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Warren


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ameanderer wrote:

Neil,

Thanks for another reply. I think you raise the most important clue to my question: check the state's definition of domicile. If the state says you are a resident after working there 6 months, then I won't consider a 6-1/2-month job there and jeopardize my domicile standing with the first state. Thanks for pointing out to me the obvious (duh).

ameaderer


 True…but I would think that even a state with a 6 month domicile definition would be reasonable (well, except for CA, OR, WA, and NY…they're just not reasonable ever) once you showed your property in another state or whatever justified your continued domicile in the other state. Probably best to just check and avoid the issue though…that's way better than having to talk them into common sense later.

In VA's case…when we changed domicile from VA to SD we never told them anything…just shifted from a VA resident return one year to the non resident only claiming my wife's community college salary return the next year…never a question about it. My personal conjecture is that *most states* figure that most people are basically honest and with all the people moving into and out of various states every year that unless something trips their radar they figure that if you filed a state return last year but not this one you moved away or otherwise no longer needed to file a return.

I don't know how states determine domicile…the ones we've researched all say vote/register cars/drivers license and that you're expected to establish domicile after you've lived there six months. However, temporarily working there…particularly in an RV…wouldn't define "living there" to me. Fortunately…we're past that whole job thing and are happy now just being bums.

Frankly…I've always been surprised that neither VA or AL has ever asked me why all that other income wasn't subject to their state tax as both states require you to submit a copy of your federal return and it's got a whole bunch more income on it than either the VA or AL one does. There's no place anywhere where you are asked to explain it…it just has 2 columns for each income type, total income and VA/AL income and you just put in the numbers. Again…I guess they figure most folks are honest…or else their auditing budget doesn't really support digging any deeper.

 



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I think I can end this discussion with the following information. The state in question says that if you are living in their state for more than 183 days, you are a resident of their state. The 6-1/2-month job in question would come to be 195 days. That would make me a resident of that state. HOWEVER, they do further say that if you are in the state "temporarily" for more than 183 days and can show that you maintain a residency elsewhere (banking, mail, voting, etc.), you can be considered a nonresident. You, of course, must file nonresident taxes at the end of the year, but you would not be made a resident of that state.

The bottom line, therefore, is to check with any state in which you work to determine their definition of residency (including the exceptions). The definition may change from state to state. If I had done that in the first place, I could have avoided this discussion. However, it was helpful and fun. Thanks to each of you for responding.

ameanderer


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Warren


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If you live in a particular state for more than half of the year, why isn't it fair to pay the state resident taxes?

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There are people with full-time permanent jobs that commute across jurisdictions every day to go to work. They report income in their work-state as non-residents and otherwise file in their resident state. I don't know how this situation would be different, since everything else - DL, tags, mailing address, etc. - are all from your domicile state.

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My original question was not referring to paying noneresident taxes. I have no objection to paying nonresident taxes for any pay period that I'm earning income in state B. My concern is that state B would claim me as a full-time resident when, in fact, I'm a resident of state A. My research shows that they could, but that there are also exceptions, i.e. a temporary assignment. 183 days seems to be the dividing point, without exceptions. I think that I would be able to show that I'm not a resident of state B. I believe I have satisfied my concern. Thanks!

ameanderer



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Warren


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LarryW21 wrote:

If you live in a particular state for more than half of the year, why isn't it fair to pay the state resident taxes?


 The resident and non resident tax rates are normally the same. The difference is that as a resident you get taxed on all your income generally. As a non-resident you only get taxed on the portion of your income earned in that state…and any income not earned in that state, like investment income…isn't taxed by them.

 



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