I Have Not Been Living in New York. Must I File New York State (and City) Taxes?
We are getting this question a lot as tax season continues, and the short answer is: probably yes.
Leaving a state temporarily with the intention to return to that state does not change your state of residence.
If your permanent residence, your domicile, is legally in New York then you will have to file taxes in the state.
For example: if you live in Manhattan and went down to Florida for 2020 but intend to return to Manhattan, you are still considered domiciled in New York State and New York City. So, you will still have to file a New York tax return.
The big question here is one of intent: where do you intend to reside in the long term? If you intend to return to your old state, then that state is your domicile. If you intend to reside in the new state, then that state becomes your domicile.
Intent can be challenging to establish; you may have to demonstrate your intent to a judge, so you will want to document your intent to move to the new state.
You also want to be careful about raising a state’s awareness about your presence: you may not have enough evidence to establish a new domicile but still have enough to show that you are a statutory resident of a second state. This can subject you to additional state taxes and filing requirements.
Read more about establishing domicile here.
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