What is my state of residence as a military member or military spouse?

Modified on Tue, 31 Jan 2023 at 10:23 PM

If you’re a member of the military, no matter where you’re stationed, the IRS considers your state of residence to be your home of record. This is the state you lived in when you were enlisted, unless you’ve otherwise moved and changed your permanent address.

That means if you live in Ohio, but are stationed in New Jersey, you’d still be liable for Ohio state taxes, rather than New Jersey state taxes.

For military spouses, similar rules apply. Under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA), military spouses can keep the same state residency, even if you move to live with your active duty spouse. This rule applies only if you move to a state outside of your home state to be with your spouse and your only reason for relocating to this state was to be with your spouse.

So, let’s say you live in Tennessee, but your spouse is stationed in California. If you receive a job offer in California and decide to move for the job and to be closer to your spouse, this rule may not apply. In this case, you’d likely owe California state taxes on any income earned.

However, if you move to California just to be with your spouse and find a job after that decision has been made, your resident state would still be considered Tennessee.

If you and your active duty spouse decide to move to a new state where you also happen to be stationed, you can fill out DD Form 2058 to change your state of legal residency.

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