Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

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MIGIHIDARI
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Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by MIGIHIDARI » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:14 pm

Situation:
I, a US citizen was a resident of one state in the US, but live overseas now (Job related).
I sold my residence in that state in 2010 but, have rental property. This rental property was not my residence ever.
Until 2010 State Income tax was filed as a resident.
Should I file state income tax return for 2011 as a non-resident now? I do have some rental income there.
I did not send any estimated taxes during 2011.
Please give me your thoughts, suggestions etc.
Thanks!
MH

sscritic
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by sscritic » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:20 pm

You will pay taxes based on income earned in the state where you earned it. Professional athletes and many others pay income tax in multiple states. You will probably owe tax in the state where you have rental income. You need to look at the tax regulations for that state. They will tell you whether you are a resident or not and which forms to file.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by lawman3966 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am

I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state. The possibility of being a resident of more than one state was added by another poster, which I don't dispute. However, the answer to the question forming the title of this thread is still "no".

For this reason, various web sites informally (read "not legal tax advice") suggest establishing residence in a zero-income-tax state prior to leaving the U.S. for overseas destinations. There are several courts cases involving states trying to recover many years' worth of back taxes from people who had no idea they were accruing state income tax liability. As I recall, two of the "stickiest" states (in terms of attaching residency to former residents who've moved abroad) were California and Virginia. However, these are not the only states to have pursued former residents in this manner.

I don't know about the rental income situation. I was researching the issue because I expected to have investment income and IRA withdrawal income in retirement and was looking for ways to avoid paying state income tax on it in retirement. The conclusion I was left with was to err on the side of overdoing the transition to another U.S. state prior to moving overseas, so as to remove all doubt about one's residency. Specifically, I would expect to obtain a driver's license in the 0-tax state, register to vote there, establish a bank account there, and to sever any and all ties with the high-tax state that I last worked in. The decision-making parties aren't objective about this. Your former state's revenue dept has a vested interest in doing its utmost to consider you to still be a resident there if at all possible.

Your question and one responder above appear to assume that you are liable only for taxes on the rental income in your former U.S. state of residence. I don't know why this would be true. Based on what you've written, your former state might consider you a "tax resident" for any income you receive overseas. There might be an exception for income from a job overseas due to a federal law on that point. But, I don't know if that exemption applies to states or not.

You should consult a tax attorney from your former state of residency before doing anything further.

[Edited to include the possibility of being a resident of multiple states.]
Last edited by lawman3966 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

MIGIHIDARI
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by MIGIHIDARI » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:51 am

Thank you sscritic and Lawman for your input.
I did not establish my residency in any state before leaving the US. It is too late to do anything about it.
I will be retiring/living in that state after 2 to 3 years from now.
Two alternatives come to mind:
1. File as a non-resident and then wait for them to react.
2. File as a resident as ususal and continue to pay.
I will do some online research until is time for me to decide soon which way I want to go!

MH

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:56 am

lawman3966 wrote:I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of one state.
Each state has it's own rules for residency, and they are not all the same. It is possible to be a resident of at least two states at the same time (at least for tax purposes).

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by madbrain » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:09 am

lawman3966 wrote:I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of one state.

For this reason, various web sites informally (read "not legal tax advice") suggest establishing residence in a zero-income-tax state prior to leaving the U.S. for overseas destinations. There are several courts cases involving states trying to recover many years' worth of back taxes from people who had no idea they were accruing state income tax liability. As I recall, two of the "stickiest" states (in terms of attaching residency to former residents who've moved abroad) were California and Virginia. However, these are not the only states to have pursued former residents in this manner.
Well, as a US citizen who moved out of California to France at the ripe old age of 3 weeks, I don't think my birth location caused me to accrue California state income tax on the small amount of income I earned in France between the ages of 15 and 18. I might have owed some federal income tax, though there are reciprocal tax treaties and tax tends to be higher in France. But I didn't know what the IRS, a 1040, or an SSN were back then, until I came back to this country and my first US employer asked for my SSN ;)

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by celia » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:36 am

lawman3966 wrote:I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of one state.
I would think this is true, else who would mail you your ballots? If you leave the country, doesn't the last place you were registered to vote continue to send you ballots to your new address? I know that a student or serviceman who is out of the country can continue to vote and the registrar of voters will mail him/her the ballot.
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by madbrain » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:40 am

celia wrote: I would think this is true, else who would mail you your ballots? If you leave the country, doesn't the last place you were registered to vote continue to send you ballots to your new address? I know that a student or serviceman who is out of the country can continue to vote and the registrar of voters will mail him/her the ballot.
You might be able to register to vote at a US embassy in your country. That could be the first place you ever register to vote, too.
Also, I believe DC residents are residents of "NO state" :)

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by northernisland » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:00 am

I feel like with the expat questions we often don't get full resolution. It would really be great if this could be added to the wiki sometime.

I'm in a near identical situation. I was an (1) NJ resident, (2) employer is based in the midwest, and (3) mail goes to my in-laws (in yet another state). On my W-2, my employer (2) wrote in something like "no state." When I've done our taxes we haven't paid state taxes while abroad. My in-laws' state (3) tax bureau asked us to update our tax status, and we sent them the prior year where we had been half in NJ (1) and then half-abroad, and we never heard from them again. Next year we'll be back in NJ and will start paying state taxes again, but this topic is really confusing.

Because our salary is low, I think we paid essentially no federal taxes, so maybe state taxes are less an issue for us? It is confusing.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by lawman3966 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:51 am

northernisland wrote:I feel like with the expat questions we often don't get full resolution. It would really be great if this could be added to the wiki sometime.

I'm in a near identical situation. I was an (1) NJ resident, (2) employer is based in the midwest, and (3) mail goes to my in-laws (in yet another state). On my W-2, my employer (2) wrote in something like "no state." When I've done our taxes we haven't paid state taxes while abroad. My in-laws' state (3) tax bureau asked us to update our tax status, and we sent them the prior year where we had been half in NJ (1) and then half-abroad, and we never heard from them again. Next year we'll be back in NJ and will start paying state taxes again, but this topic is really confusing.

Because our salary is low, I think we paid essentially no federal taxes, so maybe state taxes are less an issue for us? It is confusing.
It's possible that you "flew below radar" if there was not a large enough prize for the NJ dept of revenue to pursue. But, that doesn't prove that they couldn't have pursued you. It so happens that I live in NJ. I googled the issue and mostly got results relating to California and Virginia. But NJ wasn't far behind. Many affluent people from NJ and NY state retire to Florida (one of the favorite zero-income tax states). Many of these retirees get driver's licenses and rent or own property in Florida. However, some have retained various ties to NJ or NY, including owning property or merely spending several months a year in the north to avoid spending summers in Florida. Nevertheless, there are court cases (which you can google for) resulting from NJ pursuing these retirees on the grounds that their activities in NJ were sufficient to establish residency there. There is no clear balancing test, it seems. The above poster referring to the possiblity of multiple state residencies raises a valid point. Merely doing enough to obtain Florida residency may not, by itself, negate NJ residency. Somehow I assumed that one act that would clinch the issue is registering to vote; but don't take that as legal advice. As I recall from the case law (the state statutes may not fully answer this question), varous courts used a balancing test and took into account the value and locations of all properties owned by the litigants, the proportion of time spent in each state, among other factors. If you're really trying to lose residency in a state, the best course of action would appear to be to leave no stone unturned in removing any and all vestiges of residency in that state.

Once I retire, I will both do my best to both unambiguously obtain residency in Fla or other 0-income tax state, AND do my level best to remove any ammunition for NJ to allege that I still have NJ residency.

This type of issue will likely become even more contentious in the future as more and more states face unprecedented budget shortfalls.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by northernisland » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:45 am

For me what I was saying is that since I have no taxable income while abroad (because of "foreign earned income tax exclusion"), therefore I appear to owe no state taxes. I have basically the same question as the OP, but since I don't think I'd owe taxes I'm less nervous.

Living abroad is a pain on this type of thing. I wouldn't be surprised if either our mailing address state or employer state asks us for copies of paid taxes...

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by plats » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:00 am

I am a US citizen and a resident of no state. As pointed out, every state is different but cutting all ties to the state—no property, driver’s license, address for bank accounts—will usually do the trick. As for voting, a US embassy will just tell you to contact the state you last voted or resided in.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by sscritic » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:11 am

celia wrote: I would think this is true, else who would mail you your ballots? If you leave the country, doesn't the last place you were registered to vote continue to send you ballots to your new address?
Where is registration compulsory? What is the penalty for not being registered to vote? I believe it is possible to take yourself off the voting rolls; I know it is where I live. It's a great way to cut down on junk mail during 2012.

P.S. Actually I believe they will send voter information to your old address. They may then request the post office for the forwarding address you left. They would then mail ballots to that address. Some things you can do: not leave a forwarding address with the post office; forward your mail to a friend or relative; or forward your mail to one of those commercial "postal" places and pay them to send you your mail in a plain brown envelope once every two weeks (and after two months, don't have them forward it - just let it sit until you come back to the US on a vacation).

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Nestegg_User » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:59 am

Question: If my sibbling (who was born abroad and has an embassy birth certificate) had never returned to the US,
which state would they be presumed to be "from" for tax purposes? What happens if the parent left from a 0-tax state,
but upon return were at high-tax state... and the kid just reaches the age of majority (or is a deemed an emancipated minor)?
Does the kid have to declare a state at 18, where they have to fully declare themselves US citizens (and renounce any ties to the "birth-country" -- assuming it doesn't have dual citizenship)?

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:22 am

Anyone who is serious about this subject will want to understand the distinction between "domicile" and "resident". Sometimes one matters, sometimes the other. As I understand it you domicile is defined so that you always have exactly one. Your domicile represents your long term intent and is harder to change than your residence. Often US citizens living abroad are resident in the foreign country but remain domiciled in the state from which they left the US. They establish a foreign resident when they move, but they would only establish a foreign domicile once they clearly establish that they intend to remain there permanently and never return to their former domicile.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by sscritic » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:34 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:Anyone who is serious about this subject will want to understand the distinction between "domicile" and "resident".
Here is the internal FTB manual on domicile and residency for CA:
https://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/manuals ... m/2000.pdf
Definition of Resident
Definition of Temporary or Transitory Seasonal Visitors, Tourists, and Guests Presumption of Residency
Definition of Domicile
Domicile v. Residency
Definition of Nonresident
Definition of Part-Year Resident Military Personnel
Domicile is an integral part of the definition of resident. An individual domiciled in California and absent from the state for a temporary or transitory purpose is considered to be a California resident. An individual's domicile also determines whether income received by a husband or wife is community or separate income.
The OP needs to read his own state's rules, as I stated in my first post.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by MIGIHIDARI » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:41 pm

sscritic is right. Every state has its own rules about domicile.
My state is Hawaii and here is the example in one online document I found that, pretty much applies to me:

Example 4: D, a resident of Hawaii, contracts to work for a company in Japan. The
contract is a renewable 3-year contract. D is married and D’s spouse and children accompany D
to Japan. D rents a home and opens bank accounts in Japan. D's children attend local schools in
Japan. D does not own any property in Hawaii and has not voted in Hawaii since moving to
Japan. At the end of the 3-year contract, D renews D’s contract with the company in Japan for
another 3 years. At the renewal period, D's applications for employment, transportation
agreement, passport, and other formal documents and papers pertaining to employment in Japan
stated that D’s legal residence was in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was not D's intention to make Japan
D’s permanent and indefinite home. Accordingly, D made no effort to establish a new domicile
in Japan nor to abandon the old domicile in Hawaii.
Conclusion: D is deemed to be a resident of Hawaii during the period that D worked in Japan.

Another part of the document says that if you have not made efforts to abandon your domicile in Hawaii (Close your bank accounts,
Change driver license etc.) you are still domiciled in Hawaii.

This was taken from a document I found online. It is an older document but, I don't think they have changed the rules.
Voting is another matter. As someone said, I could register to vote at the embassy or not opt to vote at all.

Other cases discussed here like half year residency or people leaving US as a child etc do not apply to me but are interesting indeed.

MH

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by redstone61 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:11 pm

I faced this issue a few years ago. My company's accounting firm advised me that my state took the view that in order to rid yourself of residency you had to establish residency somewhere else, and that you could not do that in a country where you were working under a three year work permit. Ridding yourself of indicia of residency in the state, such as by selling your house, turning in your drivers license, etc., was only half of the solution.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by gerntz » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:46 pm

I thought you could be a resident of a territory, PR, or DC - none of which are states.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by northernisland » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:55 pm

Wow, this is really fascinating, and is scaring me a little! I hope I'm not high-jacking on OP's thread, but let me ask my specific question this way.

I have continued to vote in NJ and maintain a drivers license there (I think for most of us abroad, we want to keep a driver's license, so I imagine this is pretty common), although we have not returned to the US during the last 2.5 years. I will go back for six months this year, and will be in NJ again at a university. My wife is also doing an advanced degree at a state U in NJ and we've asked them for in-state tuition. They are letting us do it, but we have to remind them each semester.

Question: So here is the question. For state taxes, I know I will end up paying them for non-excluded income (~six months) in NJ for 2012, but do you think I will have to revise or update old state taxes, even thought I shouldn't owe any?

I googled for this and all I could find was info on domicile in NJ vs. other state. Actually, all things being equal we want to keep some connection to NJ.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:19 am

MIGIHIDARI wrote: Voting is another matter. As someone said, I could register to vote at the embassy or not opt to vote at all.
While you may be able to register at an embassy your registration (and vote) is always assigned to a state or territory. There are no at-large federal elections. Senators, representatives and electors for the presidency are all selected by individual states. In addition most states have to assign to a house district which needs a notional address.

Usually your registration will be in the last place you lived in the US, or where your parent(s) lived if you were born abroad.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by archbish99 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:33 am

northernisland wrote: Question: So here is the question. For state taxes, I know I will end up paying them for non-excluded income (~six months) in NJ for 2012, but do you think I will have to revise or update old state taxes, even thought I shouldn't owe any?
Well, the first question is whether you were required to file a return. Looks like:
A full-year resident reports all income subject to New Jersey gross income tax. The income may be received from any source. A resident who files single or married/CU partner filing separately, and who has gross income of more than $10,000, is required to file a return. For taxpayers whose filing status is either married/CU couple filing joint return, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)/surviving CU partner, the minimum filing threshold is $20,000.
So, unless your income was really low, probably. The next question is how far back they can pursue you for unintentional failure to file. Federally, it appears to be ten years; couldn't find anything specific to NJ. If you expect that you didn't actually owe anything, it might not be a bad idea to check with a tax attorney. It's probably not unreasonable to negotiate away any fines if you can show you had no intention of avoiding due taxation, voluntarily came forward when you found it, and pay the taxes due if any.

Or just hope they don't notice. Personally, it's always seemed like it must be a big red flag if someone doesn't have a part-year resident return the year before their first resident return. How many people move on January 1?
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by madbrain » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:24 am

Epsilon Delta wrote: While you may be able to register at an embassy your registration (and vote) is always assigned to a state or territory. There are no at-large federal elections. Senators, representatives and electors for the presidency are all selected by individual states. In addition most states have to assign to a house district which needs a notional address.

Usually your registration will be in the last place you lived in the US, or where your parent(s) lived if you were born abroad.
I wonder what would happen to a US citizen born abroad who never set foot in the US. What state would the embassy send him to vote ?

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by TedSwippet » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:31 am

madbrain wrote:...I wonder what would happen to a US citizen born abroad who never set foot in the US. What state would the embassy send him to vote ?
From overseasvotefoundation.org:
Voting rights of U.S. citizen children born to Americans while overseas, but having never established residency in the U.S., vary by state.
...
The following states allow these American children who have never lived in the U.S. and/or established U.S. residency to vote. They have effectively passed on the rights given through the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) to the American citizen children of these voters.
...
Unfortunately if neither of your parents is from one of these states, you may be an American citizen who has no voting rights.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by northernisland » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:19 am

Archbish99,

This is what's so confusing. The passage you cite is for a fulltime resident, but I'm not sure I'm a resident, and it's hard to see how I would be as I spent 0 days in NJ in 2010 and 2011.

Reading around, most states exclude for the foreign income exclusion, but I found one (unreliable) source that says NJ is not one of them.

Hopefully this will get cleared up when we are back, but it may encourage us to try to transfer our address to one of the other states. The upside is for our income state tax rate is 1.4 or 1.5%, so I can't imagine it being a catastrophe if we filed wrong for two years. I have been looking, but it's hard to get definitive guidance on this.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by nisiprius » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:39 am

What about Puerto Rico? Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States, but residents of no state.

Wikipedia tells me that they have been citizens since 1917, that Puerto Rico is an "unincorporated territory" of the United States, that Puerto Ricans pay most federal taxes but not income tax, pay into and receive Social Security benefits but not SSI and not much Medicaid.

Oh, previously noted by gerntz--I did a text search on "puerto" and missed it).
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Random Poster » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:20 am

TedSwippet wrote:
madbrain wrote:...I wonder what would happen to a US citizen born abroad who never set foot in the US. What state would the embassy send him to vote ?
From overseasvotefoundation.org:
Voting rights of U.S. citizen children born to Americans while overseas, but having never established residency in the U.S., vary by state.
...
The following states allow these American children who have never lived in the U.S. and/or established U.S. residency to vote. They have effectively passed on the rights given through the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) to the American citizen children of these voters.
...
Unfortunately if neither of your parents is from one of these states, you may be an American citizen who has no voting rights.
Something about taxation without representation comes to mind....

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Lbill » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:45 am

Gee, this thread is interesting. I recently moved to another state, but I'm living in a condo owned by a family member. I chose to keep my credit union checking account in the city I moved from because everything is electronic these days and it pays 3 1/4% interest. I also still have my original driver's license and the car is still licensed in the state I moved from. I have given the PO a forwarding address and changed my address for all my financial accounts, social security, etc. But it sounds like I actually haven't done all the things necessary to establish my new residence as my domicile. If I abstain from doing those things, am I still domiciled in my former state and should be filing and paying tax there? But, since my address of record has changed everywhere, how would they know? Since I've changed my address with Social Security and with my IRA and 403(b) accounts, from which I am taking distributions, I'm assuming that my new state will be the recipients of my 1099s, so I'll have to file there because of that, correct? Interesting situation. Maybe I could declare domicile in any state I choose, just as if I lived in an RV. I'll start doing my research...
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by btenny » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:21 pm

It does not get any easier when you retire and have no earned income yet draw pensions and SS and have investment income but live in multiple states. Which state "owns you" is a big question in regard to paying state taxes. Think about all the "snow birds" that live in Arizona (or California) 6 months a year but are legal residents of Canada or Alaska or some other state and thus pay zero Arizona (or California) tax. Same for all the Florida snow birds who pay zero Florida and NY taxes but go back to homes in NY for the summers. Or how about all the full time RV owners that choose Texas as their residence even though they spend little time there and are originally from NJ or NY or CA.

But getting firm answers from anyone on this issue is very difficult. All the tax guys I talked with told me this is what has worked before and what has happened in XYZ test cases. Then they let you decide.

Think about it a while and read a lot and then proceed carefully.
Bill

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by btenny » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:28 pm

Oh about that voting thing. I wanted to point out that some states will NOT forward voting ballots even if all your mail is being forwarded. Apparently it is against the law. You have to go the voting registrar to ask for an absentee ballot in person and then and only then will the state mail your ballot out to another state and address. And this ballot mailing and forwarding out of state is only applicable to the next election date and vote and cannot be done for a period of time.

Bill

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by dm200 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:54 pm

I work the polls for elections in Virginia. When there are federal election (usually in combination with state and/or local elections), we have a category (special ballot) for registered voters who can only get a ballot for federal offices. These ballots do not allow such persons to vote in any state or local races.

I do not know the details, but it appears that such persons are living overseas (for some reason), but are still citizens of the US and have some connection to Virginia (that's where they are registered). Perhaps they happen to be in Vrginia visiting (or living temporarily) at election time. These folks APPEAR to be US Citizens and not a resident of any state.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by ladders11 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:51 pm

Lbill wrote:Gee, this thread is interesting. I recently moved to another state, but I'm living in a condo owned by a family member. I chose to keep my credit union checking account in the city I moved from because everything is electronic these days and it pays 3 1/4% interest. I also still have my original driver's license and the car is still licensed in the state I moved from. I have given the PO a forwarding address and changed my address for all my financial accounts, social security, etc. But it sounds like I actually haven't done all the things necessary to establish my new residence as my domicile. If I abstain from doing those things, am I still domiciled in my former state and should be filing and paying tax there? But, since my address of record has changed everywhere, how would they know? Since I've changed my address with Social Security and with my IRA and 403(b) accounts, from which I am taking distributions, I'm assuming that my new state will be the recipients of my 1099s, so I'll have to file there because of that, correct? Interesting situation. Maybe I could declare domicile in any state I choose, just as if I lived in an RV. I'll start doing my research...
After having moved states myself, I have some experience with this. Sadly, I too now find this interesting.

Basically, there is a difference between residence and domicile. You can have many residences, but only one domicile. With two residences, the one you spend 183 days in is usually your domicile, but they also look at voter registration, bank accounts, car stuff, and will. Those yearning for FL residency change all this and may even choose to file a declaration of domicile. For most people, with one residence, that is their domicile (former residence sold or lease expired = "abandoned") and the date this changed is the date they moved.

For me, it was a matter of legal requirement that I become a resident of my new state once I accepted a job here. Vehicle must be registered within 30 days of moving, or upon acceptance of employment, whichever is soonest. And, in order to register vehicle, a new DL, safety inspection, and title are required. Then insurance must be changed.

If you aren't working, you can probably stall, but you might have a problem if you got a traffic ticket, or if you had a car accident.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by RedJones » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:52 pm

ladders11 wrote:
Basically, there is a difference between residence and domicile. You can have many residences, but only one domicile.
You can have at most one tax domicile, but you may not have any. Provided that you do not meet the requirements for tax domicile in the last state in which you reside, then you no longer have tax domicile in any state. That is my current status. I live abroad and do not have an intention of returning to reside in NY state. I don't meet any of the criteria for establishing tax domicile in NY, i.e. own no property there, will not vote, and do not hold a driver's license. I certainly will not be paying NY state taxes. But I won't be able to vote.

However, it does depend on the tax domicile rules of your last state. VA takes the view that you continue to have tax domicile in VA until you establish it in another state. I don't understand how that would hold up in court, but apparently it does.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by grabiner » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:00 pm

northernisland wrote:Question: So here is the question. For state taxes, I know I will end up paying them for non-excluded income (~six months) in NJ for 2012, but do you think I will have to revise or update old state taxes, even thought I shouldn't owe any?
The New Jersey Form 1040NR Instructions say that you are a nonresident of NJ for tax purposes, even if your domicile is in NJ, if you did not maintain a permanent home in NJ, did maintain a permanent home outside of NJ, and spent fewer than 30 days in NJ. If this applies to you, then you would only owe tax on income with a source in NJ, such as work performed in NJ or rental income on property located in NJ.

Note that this is specific to NJ; each state has its own rules for determining domicile, and tax relative to domicile.
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by northernisland » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:36 pm

Thank you Grabiner! You are a real life-saver. I looked and looked for information but just couldn't find it. I think I needed to be using domicile for the keyword. So I will keep NJ as domicile and pay taxes when I'm in the States. This was a big help.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:00 am

Lbill wrote:I recently moved to another state, ... also still have my original driver's license and the car is still licensed in the state I moved from.
Most states have strict requirements for getting an in-state licenses. Failure to do so can invalidate your insurance and result in criminal penalties for things such as unlicensed operation and driving without insurance. This is potentially a bigger problem than not getting your taxes right. This is most likely to come up after an accident or a traffic stop and can compound the original problem.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by plats » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:31 am

I thought that I would add that voting does not affect residency for tax purposes according to the US Embassy Japan website.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by hrutie » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:35 pm

This week talked to a CPA in Ohio and he told me the same thing. Said that it is a misconception that voting affects residency for tax purposes. But did not ask if this is only federal or also state. Think he implied this includes state but am not sure.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:24 am

I'm a US citizen who is not a "resident" of any state, but for tax purposes I'm considered "tax domiciled" in California and forced to file state taxes as a California Non-Resident.
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:17 am

lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am
I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state. The possibility of being a resident of more than one state was added by another poster, which I don't dispute. However, the answer to the question forming the title of this thread is still "no".

You should consult a tax attorney from your former state of residency before doing anything further.
I don’t agree with first paragraph but do agree with second.

My understanding is if you are an expat, whether your prior state tax you depends on whether you establish domicile out of the state. Part of evaluating that is to evaluate whether you have an intent to return back to state.

Let’s say the last place I lived before heading overseas was NY. I then move overseas to work 5 years. I move back to NY after that period. I didn’t gain permanent residency or citizenship in foreign country. I made trips back to NY frequently. NY might argue I always had intent to return to NY so I should have filed returns for past 5 years.

Same situation as above but I’ve worked overseas for 20 years, obtain foreign citizenship, married, raised two kids and then move back to NY. This is a much stronger case that I didn’t have intent to return to NY during the 20 years.

This is where legal audience should be sought.

As others have mentioned voting and tax are two different things.
Last edited by seawolf21 on Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by grabiner » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:18 am

hrutie wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:35 pm
This week talked to a CPA in Ohio and he told me the same thing. Said that it is a misconception that voting affects residency for tax purposes. But did not ask if this is only federal or also state. Think he implied this includes state but am not sure.
Voter registration is used by many states as evidence of domicile. The reason is that domicile is defined by intention; your domicile is not where you currently live, but where you intend to live permanently. If you claim to have moved out of a state, but continue to vote in your old state, that state may view this as evidence that you intend to return and never changed your domicile.

Note that it is considered evidence, not proof; check with your state tax advisor. A state can argue that you retained enough connection with the state that you still consider it your domicile, even though you registered to vote in another state.

And, as noted earlier in this discussion, domicile is not the only concern for income taxes. In many states, even if your domicile is elsewhere, if you maintain a home in the state and spend enough days in the state, you are taxed as a resident.
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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:24 am

grabiner wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:18 am
hrutie wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:35 pm
This week talked to a CPA in Ohio and he told me the same thing. Said that it is a misconception that voting affects residency for tax purposes. But did not ask if this is only federal or also state. Think he implied this includes state but am not sure.
Voter registration is used by many states as evidence of domicile. The reason is that domicile is defined by intention; your domicile is not where you currently live, but where you intend to live permanently. If you claim to have moved out of a state, but continue to vote in your old state, that state may view this as evidence that you intend to return and never changed your domicile.

Note that it is considered evidence, not proof; check with your state tax advisor. A state can argue that you retained enough connection with the state that you still consider it your domicile, even though you registered to vote in another state.

And, as noted earlier in this discussion, domicile is not the only concern for income taxes. In many states, even if your domicile is elsewhere, if you maintain a home in the state and spend enough days in the state, you are taxed as a resident.
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... oting.html

You need to be voter registered in your last state in order to vote (eg guaranteed by constitution) but vote for only federal offices and avoid the state offices.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by typical.investor » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 am

seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:17 am
lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am
I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state. The possibility of being a resident of more than one state was added by another poster, which I don't dispute. However, the answer to the question forming the title of this thread is still "no".

You should consult a tax attorney from your former state of residency before doing anything further.
I don’t agree with first paragraph but do agree with second.

My understanding is if you are an expat, whether your prior state tax you depends on whether you establish domicile out of the state. Part of evaluating that is to evaluate whether you have an intent to return back to state.

Let’s say the last place I lived before heading overseas was NY. I then move overseas to work 5 years. I move back to NY after that period. I didn’t gain permanent residency or citizenship in foreign country. I made trips back to NY frequently. NY might argue I always had intent to return to NY so I should have filed returns for past 5 years.
That's just wrong. Permanent residency or citizenship is not the criteria. You are likely a tax resident overseas, and not one of New York. Anyway, it comes down to where you are spending your time.

See the requirements... "If your domicile is New York but you meet all three of the conditions in either Group A or Group B, you are not a New York State resident."

See https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/file/pit_definitions.htm

Group A

You did not maintain any permanent place of abode in New York State during the tax year; and
You maintained a permanent place of abode outside New York State during the entire tax year; and
You spent 30 days or less (a part of a day is a day for this purpose) in New York State during the tax year.

Group B

You were in a foreign country for at least 450 days1 during any period of 548 consecutive days; and
You, your spouse (unless legally separated) and minor children spent 90 days1 or less in New York State during this 548-day period; and
During the nonresident portion of the tax year in which the 548-day period begins, and during the nonresident portion of the tax year in which the 548-day period ends, you were present in New York State for no more than the number of days which bears the same ratio to 90 as the number of days in such portion of the tax year bears to 548. The following formula illustrates this condition:
number of days in the nonresident portion x 90 = maximum number of days allowed in New York State
548

Edit: And it matters too if you have income from the State. Anyway, read the State's tax residency rules.
Last edited by typical.investor on Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by Always passive » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:47 am

MIGIHIDARI wrote:
Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:14 pm
Situation:
I, a US citizen was a resident of one state in the US, but live overseas now (Job related).
I sold my residence in that state in 2010 but, have rental property. This rental property was not my residence ever.
Until 2010 State Income tax was filed as a resident.
Should I file state income tax return for 2011 as a non-resident now? I do have some rental income there.
I did not send any estimated taxes during 2011.
Please give me your thoughts, suggestions etc.
Thanks!
MH
Yes, I am a US citizen living in Israel. All my investments (bonds, stocks, etc.) are at Fidelity, but I do not own any real assets. I only pay federal taxes.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by mptfan » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:49 am

lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am
I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state.
Not true. U.S. citizens who reside in the District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands are U.S. citizens who are not residents of at least one state.

Also, there are many U.S. citizens who live abroad.
Last edited by mptfan on Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:39 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:49 am
lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am
I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state.
Not true. U.S. citizens who reside in Puerto Rico and Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands are U.S. citizens who are not residents of at least one state.
Yes - and folks born there are U.S. citizens as well.

I would also add American Samoa to this list.

Repeating my much earlier post:
I work the polls for elections in Virginia. When there are federal election (usually in combination with state and/or local elections), we have a category (special ballot) for registered voters who can only get a ballot for federal offices. These ballots do not allow such persons to vote in any state or local races.

I do not know the details, but it appears that such persons are living overseas (for some reason), but are still citizens of the US and have some connection to Virginia (that's where they are registered). Perhaps they happen to be in Virginia visiting (or living temporarily) at election time. These folks APPEAR to be US Citizens and not a resident of any state.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:16 am

typical.investor wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:17 am
lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am
I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state. The possibility of being a resident of more than one state was added by another poster, which I don't dispute. However, the answer to the question forming the title of this thread is still "no".

You should consult a tax attorney from your former state of residency before doing anything further.
I don’t agree with first paragraph but do agree with second.

My understanding is if you are an expat, whether your prior state tax you depends on whether you establish domicile out of the state. Part of evaluating that is to evaluate whether you have an intent to return back to state.

Let’s say the last place I lived before heading overseas was NY. I then move overseas to work 5 years. I move back to NY after that period. I didn’t gain permanent residency or citizenship in foreign country. I made trips back to NY frequently. NY might argue I always had intent to return to NY so I should have filed returns for past 5 years.
That's just wrong. Permanent residency or citizenship is not the criteria. You are likely a tax resident overseas, and not one of New York. Anyway, it comes down to where you are spending your time.

See the requirements... "If your domicile is New York but you meet all three of the conditions in either Group A or Group B, you are not a New York State resident."

See https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/file/pit_definitions.htm

Group A

You did not maintain any permanent place of abode in New York State during the tax year; and
You maintained a permanent place of abode outside New York State during the entire tax year; and
You spent 30 days or less (a part of a day is a day for this purpose) in New York State during the tax year.

Group B

You were in a foreign country for at least 450 days1 during any period of 548 consecutive days; and
You, your spouse (unless legally separated) and minor children spent 90 days1 or less in New York State during this 548-day period; and
During the nonresident portion of the tax year in which the 548-day period begins, and during the nonresident portion of the tax year in which the 548-day period ends, you were present in New York State for no more than the number of days which bears the same ratio to 90 as the number of days in such portion of the tax year bears to 548. The following formula illustrates this condition:
number of days in the nonresident portion x 90 = maximum number of days allowed in New York State
548

Edit: And it matters too if you have income from the State. Anyway, read the State's tax residency rules.
I recommend you look at this instead. What you listed is general guidelines. If NY decides to do an audit, they will look beyond just number of days; there are number of different criteria they evaluate. For most people, it’s likely not worth the state’s time to audit.

https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/2014/misc/no ... s_2014.pdf

Look at page 13-14 in IRS guidelines. Intent is a factor.
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by wolf359 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:21 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:39 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:49 am
lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 am
I investigated this issue about a year ago, and all my online research led to the conclusion that a U.S. citizen is always a resident of at least one state.
Not true. U.S. citizens who reside in Puerto Rico and Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands are U.S. citizens who are not residents of at least one state.
Yes - and folks born there are U.S. citizens as well.

I would also add American Samoa to this list.
Don't forget residents of Washington, D.C.

Hetty Green was famously not a resident of any state. As a woman, she was not allowed to vote anyways. She didn't drive a car. And she made sure that she changed where she stayed regularly, so she never lived in any one place long enough to establish a residence (to avoid having to pay taxes.)

When she died, multiple states were fighting over who got to claim her residency for the estate taxes (she was the wealthiest woman in the world at the time.)

I don't know if she'd get away with it today.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by epoxyresin » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:46 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:39 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:49 am

Not true. U.S. citizens who reside in Puerto Rico and Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands are U.S. citizens who are not residents of at least one state.
Yes - and folks born there are U.S. citizens as well.

I would also add American Samoa to this list.
Folks born in American Samoa are not (necessarily) citizens, though they are US nationals (and the only people for whom that remains a distinction).

And if you're a resident of of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, or the US Virgin Islands, you don't pay federal income taxes on money earned in the territory.

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Re: Can a US citizen be a resident of NO state?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:49 am

Folks born in American Samoa are not (necessarily) citizens, though they are US nationals (and the only people for whom that remains a distinction).
Interesting place. I actually went there (on business) in the 1990's for a week. Lots of mildew in the hotel and geckos staring at you when you wake up. It has all the bad things about a tropical island AND bad things about America - put together.

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