State tax and American expatriates

Jan 23, 2015

Should I file a state tax income if I live abroad?

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident living abroad, you not only have to make sure to file a tax return with the IRS each year if you meet the minimum income requirements, you may also have to file a state return.

Depending on the state where you lived immediately before your move, you may need to file a non-resident state income tax, even if you live abroad. Do not assume that since you left the United States, you are not required to file a state tax return. Each state has its own set of rules it considers a “resident” and their own minimum deposit requirements. Most states, but not all, also allow the exclusion of foreign income earned in determining taxable income.

If you’re like many expats and green card holders, you kept your home in the US when you have moved abroad and started to rent. The states want to tax individuals on income they earn in this state. Thus, the income from your rental property will be taxed in the state where the property is located. So if you meet the minimum deposit requirements for this state, you have to file a state tax return.

Most states will allow you to be treated as non-resident if you are physically present outside the state more than six months in the year.

Four states are ending your residence very difficult:

• California,
• New Mexico
• South Carolina
• Virginia

If you have moved from one of these states, it is unlikely that you were released from your filing requirement. In each of these states, you must prove that you will not return to the state. If you can not prove it, you must file a state tax return. They look at several different factors to determine whether you can return to the state at a given time. These factors include: real estate mortgages, rentals, voter registration, driver’s license and utility bills.

If you have moved to a state that does not impose income tax, consider yourself lucky not to have to deal with the hassle and cost of preparing and filing a tax return for the State. The states that do not impose tax on state income are:

• Alaska
• Florida
• Nevada
• South Dakota
• Texas
• Washington
• Wyoming

Two states have a limited income tax on individuals. The tax is based on income received as dividends and interest only.

• Tennessee
• New Hampshire

For your convenience, we also list the websites of the States tax below.

  • Alabama Alabama Department of Revenue
  • Alaska Alaska Department of Revenue
  • Arizona Arizona Department of Revenue
  • Arkansas Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
  • California California State Board of Equalization
  • California California Franchise Tax Board
  • Colorado Colorado Department of Revenue
  • Connecticut Connecticut Department of Revenue Services
  • Delaware Delaware Division of Revenue
  • Florida Florida Department of Revenue
  • Georgia Georgia Department of Revenue
  • Hawaii Hawaii Department of Taxation
  • Idaho State Tax Commission
  • Illinois Illinois Department of Revenue
  • Indiana Indiana Department of Revenue
  • Iowa Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance
  • Kansas Kansas Department of Revenue
  • Kentucky Kentucky Revenue Cabinet–Online Taxpayer Service Center
  • Louisiana Louisiana Department of Revenue
  • Maine Maine Revenue Services
  • Maryland Maryland
  • Massachusetts Massachusetts
  • Michigan Michigan Department of Treasury
  • Minnesota Minnesota Department of Revenue
  • Mississippi Mississippi Tax Commission
  • Missouri Missouri Department of Revenue
  • Montana Department of Revenue
  • Nebraska Nebraska
  • Nevada Department of Taxation
  • New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
  • New Jersey New Jersey Division of Taxation
  • New Mexico New Mexico Taxation and Revenue
  • New York New York Department of Taxation & Finance
  • North Carolina North Carolina Department of Revenue
  • North Dakota North Dakota State Tax Department
  • Ohio Ohio Department of Taxation
  • Oklahoma Oklahoma Tax Commission
  • Oregon Oregon Department of Revenue
  • Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island Rhode Island Division of Taxation
  • South Carolina South Carolina Department of Revenue
  • South Dakota South Dakota
  • Tennessee Tennessee
  • Texas Window on State Government–Texas Taxes
  • Utah Utah State Tax Commission
  • Vermont Vermont Department of Taxes
  • Virginia Virginia Department of Taxation
  • Washington Washington Department of Revenue
  • Washington D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue
  • West Virginia West Virginia Department of Revenue
  • Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Revenue
  • Wyoming Wyoming Department of Revenue
U.S. Taxes For American Expats E-book

FREE U.S. Tax Guide for Americans Abroad

The only e-book about U.S. Expat Taxes you need to read! Covers

1. Foreign Tax Credit vs. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

2. The Additional Child Tax Credit. Get a $1,400 refund!

3.  What happens if I don't file?

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