Tax filing question (moved, moving again)?
February 22, 2021 1:05 PM   Subscribe

YANML, but should be a relatively simple question. I moved and am moving again, back to the original state I lived in last year. Which state/address should I use when filing my taxes?

Late last summer, I moved from DC to MD; changed my addresses everywhere; deregistered to vote in DC and registered in MD; and planned to transfer my license to MD (but ended up not doing so). Lived in MD for about 6 months; now I'm moving back to DC later this week for a number of personal reasons; basically I got a new job and wanted to be near it. I plan to file as a part-year resident for both states for the 2020 tax year, and obviously will do so again next year for the 2021 tax year.

However, I'm a bit stumped as to what address to put in when actually filing my 2020 taxes (which I haven't done yet); my understanding is that the address I put in will propagate to the whole tax form (ie, to the IRS, to the DC government, and to the MD government). I moved from DC to MD, so I'm obviously a part-year resident for both, but if I file my 2020 taxes with my new DC address that I plan to move to, this might raise some eyebrows (the DC government will wonder why a part-year resident is filing with a DC address); conversely if I use my current MD address, I'd be giving an outdated address to all entities, including the IRS. (Just in case, I will continue to have access to my mail here at the soon-to-be-former MD residence if needed; it's with a private landlord and they're willing to let me come pick up any stray mail for the next month or so whatnot. I'm very fortunate to have friendly landlords, and I was also fortunate to be on a month-to-month lease as well.)

How shall I proceed with the address situation? YANML, and I'd figure this is pretty simple, but I can't seem to figure it out. I might be missing something simple though. Thanks!
posted by dubious_dude to Law & Government (9 answers total)
You file using your new address, the address where you currently live. Otherwise you have to go through a whole thing to update your address.
posted by phunniemee at 1:15 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

IAAL, IANAL or licensed in DC. Use your current address. Somebody who moved from VA to DC in July would still probably be filing a part-year residency as a scurrent DC resident.
posted by notjustthefish at 1:23 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

So sorry, I should've clarified. My current address is still my MD address, but I plan to move to DC this week, and will file in March (by then I'd be a DC resident again). So by current address, do you mean my new DC address (when moving there soon) or the MD address?
posted by dubious_dude at 1:42 PM on February 22

Use the mailing address where you live when you file. I promise they will not care or scrutinize at the level you're worried about, and honesty is your best defense.
posted by brainmouse at 1:44 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

Just use your new DC address, which will be the address at the time of filing. There is zero reason to use the MD address which will be out-of-date in 1 week.
posted by hydra77 at 1:50 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]

They do not care where you live in 2021, except to the extent it allows them to get in touch with you. Put whatever allows them to get in touch with you.
posted by caek at 2:41 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]

I’ve danced this dance before. Moved from out of state to Maryland for some months, then to DC for a few months as part of a temporary gig before going overseas. I used the DC address when I filed because that’s where I was physically located but didn’t pay taxes there (didn’t meet the requirements of being a full or part time resident). The DC government did send me a letter asking why I filed federal and MD taxes with a DC address but didn’t file in DC, I sent a very straightforward email back explaining the situation, and that was that.

Note this is not advice about which state(s) you should file taxes with nor how you should file (this can be complicated), but my experience bears out that listing your current address is the way to go even if it raises questions. These situations happen all the time, especially in the DMV area.
posted by exutima at 5:23 PM on February 22

That helps, thanks! I'll just file with my new DC address for the whole tax return, including both state returns. I have already planned to file part-year resident tax returns with MD and DC for the tax year 2020 anyway, and will do the same with tax year 2021. If any questions arise, I'll simply show my leases as proof if necessary, and explain I had to move for job reasons, thought I'd like living in Maryland, but realized I wanted to move back to DC. I do hope I'll remain in DC for the whole year of 2022; simpler that way.

Exutima is right — this kind of thing definitely happens a lot, especially in the DC area (which is kind of a revolving door for many people). I just wanted to double check and make sure I wasn't missing anything.
posted by dubious_dude at 6:04 PM on February 22

We had a similar situation in the family - moved to California early in the year so filed a federal return with a California address but not a state return since we hadn't lived in California during the year covered by the tax return. California sent us a form letter asking us to explain why we didn't file - we just checked the right boxes, added a note and there was no problem.
posted by metahawk at 11:15 PM on February 22

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