Taxes: married but living in different states
January 19, 2017 8:33 AM   Subscribe

It's tax time and I'm trying to figure out how to handle our weird life situation.

My spouse lives and works in Wisconsin. I lived in Wisconsin and earned income there for part of the year. I moved to Indiana in May for work and established residency here. (Academia...)

It seems the usual advice in this circumstance is to file a joint federal return and separate state returns. But, in this case, do we need to file a joint return for Wisconsin as I have income to report? Can I file returns for myself in two separate states?

If the answer is "get professional advice" I will happily do that, but I'm hoping there's an easy and obvious solution I haven't come across.

Thanks in advance.
posted by baby beluga to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Get professional advice. This will take a halfway-decent tax accountant 15 minutes to solve, and you'll save more in worrying than you'll spend on that accountant's time.
posted by Etrigan at 8:44 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can I file returns for myself in two separate states?

I live in Texas and file returns in California and New York. If TX had state income tax I would file a return there too. So yes, you can and should if you earned income in more than one state.
posted by magnetsphere at 8:45 AM on January 19, 2017

Yes, you will need to file in multiple states, and pay each state based on their formulas for how much you earned in that state, or what portion of the year you were a resident. Wisconsin has separate requirements for Nonresidents and Part-Year Residents, I assume Indiana has something similar.
posted by yuwtze at 8:55 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

My husband and I were in this situation our first year of marriage.

He lived in VT for most of the year, but in MA for part of the year.

I lived in MA for the entire year.

End result: Joint federal form, I filed separately in MA as I had been a full-year resident. He filed separately in MA as an MA part-year resident. He also filed in VT under whatever way he was supposed to for VT.

You should more or less do the same.
posted by zizzle at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Complexity is Wisconsin is a community property state. Absent that I'd say you don't need a professional, but given that issue I'd seek help.
posted by JPD at 10:08 AM on January 19, 2017

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