Which states will I have to file taxes in?
January 19, 2008 2:28 PM   Subscribe

TaxFilter2007: I earned income at my job in StateA. However, all my bank addresses (permanent and mailing) are for StateB, where someone collects my mail for me. I used StateB for banks to not have to deal with remembering zip codes and changing addresses. Furthermore, I've worked in 2006 in StateC but didn't receive the last paycheck until 2007. Will I have to file state taxes in all these states? This is my first time doing my own taxes.

All these states have regular state income tax by the way. The interest earned in StateB is enough to be reported to the IRS. The 2006 income from StateC was a research assistantship at a university.
posted by lpctstr; to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Is there some reason you can't name the states? Tax law varies significantly from one state to another. (I suspect, though, that the answer is yes, you have to file in every state where you've earned money.)
posted by languagehat at 2:50 PM on January 19, 2008

I would suggest heading down to H&R block or some such tax preparation place and let them help you. It's worth the ~$80-$100 to let them figure out the different state tax situations. You will definitely have to file in StateA and StateC, and probably also StateB. You probably won't have to pay any taxes in StateC, unless your paycheck was for a lot of money; you might even get a refund. The taxes you pay in StateB or StateA might count against the taxes you have to pay in the other states. I've done this for three states before (NY, NE, CA) and it's a pain.

You can try using one of the free federal on-line tax sites. By law, they can't charge you to file federal taxes, but they can charge for state. But they don't charge until you actually file, which means you can work through all the different paperwork ahead of time without paying anything. This would give you a better idea of what/how much you'll owe, and where. Good luck.
posted by one_bean at 2:59 PM on January 19, 2008

Yes, it depends on each individual state's tax laws. It has nothing to do with where you do your banking or where your checks are sent. It has everything to do with what state you are an official resident of.
posted by gjc at 3:26 PM on January 19, 2008

Yes. You might not owe taxes in all states (and you might even get the state withheld taxes refunded) but you have to file. Keep copies of everything you file and any correspondence related to your taxes. If you are audited, it is not uncommon to get a tax bill from a tax year 3 years in the past. You will have to have the documentation to prove your situation to the satisfaction of the tax people.
posted by 45moore45 at 3:32 PM on January 19, 2008

I live in Wisconsin and work in Illinois. I have to file income tax forms for both states, and I usually get a refund from the taxes withheld in Illinois so I can pay the taxes I owe in Wisconsin. My understanding is that you only pay your state of residence (in your case, State B), but it may be different where you live.

Turbo Tax won't accept W-2s from more than one state, so I always go to a tax preparation service. It's worth it.
posted by christinetheslp at 3:48 PM on January 19, 2008

You can actually be a resident of more than one state at a time (yeah non-domiciliary residency!). In that case you may have to pay income tax in both, though most or all of one will likely be credited against the other state. That's what happened with me (NY, VA).
posted by Jahaza at 7:32 PM on January 19, 2008

Agreeing with above posters. My taxes have been a pain the past few years, because of multiple moves and multiple income.

I lived in CT, and moved to RI. I had to file tax forms in both states. CT has different procedures for partial year resident and non-resident with income from CT. Then I moved to NY. I actually had to file income taxes for 3 states.

From my experience, what matters is:
1) What state were you a resident of and for how much of the year.
2) What state is your income from, what state did you pay taxes to.

I no longer live in CT but I still get a few checks from an employer in CT that is income exclusive to CT, therefore, I still have to file a NY and CT income tax.

You can go to H&R Block, but there are plenty of resources on individual state revenue services sites, and I just did my taxes online with Turbotax for the past two years to help me with the multiple state forms. Also, in some states they have pretty good tax resources. For example, in CT, I had someone help walk me through filling out my tax form over the phone.
posted by hazyspring at 6:15 AM on January 20, 2008

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