Thursday, March 15, 2012

Military State Tax Guide - 2011

State Guidelines for Military (2011 values)
This information is provided by the author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the IRS, State Dept's of Revenue, or the author's employer. Information is for general guidelines only and should not be relied upon for filing taxes without referencing state or federal instructions. Questions may be asked via email at taxadvisor@email.com

The 2013 version can be found HERE
The 2012 version can be found HERE
Consolidated list of military posts HERE

Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA)
Most states have begun to treat this in a similar manner to each other. In general, the spouse of a service member has two choices for state of residency: the state they are stationed in, or the military member's state of residency. In order to claim the military members state, they must have established a domicile in that state at some time before moving to the current state. For those qualified to make the election to claim the military members state, it is important to weigh the benefits properly, for example, a spouse who works in SC married to a military resident of MI might assume that since MI does not tax the military member that they should choose this state. This would be wrong because MI will tax the non-military income of the spouse. SC is far more generous to the spouse of a service member stationed in SC. Expert assistance may be required making this determination. It can also be difficult to get the current state to stop withholding from the spouses wages. Each state Dept of Revenue has different procedures for handling this.

Residency
A military member normally retains residency in the state they resided in when they joined the military unless action is taken to change this. The W-2 can generally be relied upon as to the state of residence of the military member. The states in which a service member are stationed will not tax the members military income unless they are residents. They will tax any income earned from other employment or business activities conducted in the state by the member and their spouses (subject to the MSRRA discussed above.) The discussions below talk about the taxation of military income for residents of the respective state.
 
Filing Requirements:
Not having to file discussed below assumes there is no withholding from the given state. A member may file even if not required and should do so if they have withholding from the given state so they can get the money back. If a member would not be required to file except for the existence of withholding, they should adjust their state withholding through MyPay so no taxes are withheld from that state. They may also consider stopping withholding even if they are required to file, for states that do not tax their income (MI for example.) Many people do not file required tax returns when there is no refund or balance due. This could result in a letter from the state requesting a return but rarely any penalties – but there can be!
 
Death Benefits:
Many states exclude death benefits and military pay for service members killed in a combat zone or while on active duty. The specifics are not discussed here. Survivors of service members killed on active duty can obtain assistance for this from CACO personnel.
 
Alabama:
Alabama treats military residents the same as all other residents
 
Alaska:
Alaska does not have an income tax. Alaska Permanent Funds Dividends are taxable on the Federal Return.
 
Arizona:
Arizona does not tax active duty military pay, and does not require filing if the only AZ source income is active duty pay.
 
Arkansas:
The first $9000 of Military compensation is not taxed to AR. Total military income is reported on line 9 and the income -$9000 is reported on line 8 (but not less than 0)
 
California:
California does not tax military pay of CA residents stationed outside of the state of CA. They do tax military income of their residents when stationed in CA. They also treat military spouses generously, similar to SC. Form 540NR is used to account for this. You write “MPA” to the left of column A for non-resident military income and enter the military income in column B but exclude it from column E.
 
Colorado:
Colorado taxes military residents the same as other residents unless the member is stationed outside the US for >305 days in the year.
 
Connecticut:
Connecticut allows resident military personnel stationed outside of CT to be treated as non-residents for tax purposes. This can be confusing but the point is that they are still a resident, just not treated that way for tax purposes. In order to be treated as a non-resident they must meet all three of the following requirements: 1) Not maintain a permanent place of abode in CT for the entire year (a parents house is not a permanent place of abode.) 2) Maintain a permanent place of abode outside of CT for the entire year. 3) Spend no more than 30 days in CT for any reason during the year. If they meet these requirements they can file as a non-resident and exclude any military wages from gross income and need not file unless they have other CT source income.
 
Delaware:
DE taxes military residents the same as all other residents.
 
Washington DC:
DC taxes resident military personnel the same as all other residents (I think).
 
Florida:
Florida does not have an income tax, however they do have an intangibles tax. Most military members will not have any filing requirement.
 
Georgia:
GA taxes military residents the same as all other residents
 
Hawaii:
Hawaii taxes military residents the same as all other residents except that they do not tax the first $5881 of reserve pay or HI national guard pay.
 
Idaho:
ID residents stationed in ID pay taxes on all military income; however, if the member was on active duty >120 days and stationed outside of Idaho they can exclude any military income earned while stationed outside of ID. If they are stationed outside of Idaho the entire year they do not need to file an ID tax return.
 
Illinois:
IL does not tax military pay; however, the member must file a tax return if they file a Federal return. Military members with children who get Federal Earned Income Credit may get up to 5% of the Federal amount even if they have no taxes due to IL.
 
Indiana:
Indiana taxes military income but allows a deduction of the first $5000 of military income for the taxpayer and/or the spouse ($10000 for military couple.) If a military member changes state of residency to another state they must submit the DD Form 2058 with the tax return for the year they changed state of residency.
 
Iowa:
IA does not tax military income and military income is not used in determining filing requirements (if the only significant sources of income are military income, a tax return is not required.)
 
Kansas:
Kansas taxes military income but allows a deduction for recruitment, sign-up and retention bonuses paid that are included in Federal taxable income (if the bonus was tax free to federal do not deduct it from KS. Kansas starts with Federal AGI so it is already excluded.)
 
Kentucky:
Beginning with 2010, KY does not tax military income and does not require a tax return if the only KY source income is military pay.
 
Louisiana:
Louisiana requires a tax return from military personnel the same as any other resident; however, LA gives an exclusion of up to $30000 of military pay if the person has been on active duty for at least 120 days during the tax year. The subtraction is taken as a Schedule E subtraction, Code 10E, by entering military pay up to $30000 on the schedule.
 
Maine:
Maine allows resident military personnel stationed outside of ME to be treated as non-residents for tax purposes. This can be confusing but the point is that they are still a resident, just not treated that way for tax purposes. In order to be treated as a non-resident they must meet all three of the following requirements: 1) Not maintain a permanent place of abode in ME for the entire year (a parents house is not a permanent place of abode.) 2) Maintain a permanent place of abode outside of ME for the entire year. 3) Spend no more than 30 days in ME for any reason during the year. If they meet these requirements they can file as a non-resident and exclude any military wages from gross income and need not file unless they have other ME source income. Maine calls this the General Safe Harbor Rule.
 
Maryland:
Maryland taxes military residents just like other residents; however, they allow a subtraction for up to $15000 of military pay earned outside of the U.S. (Military Overseas Income.) The deduction phases out dollar for dollar as ALL military income goes above $15000 and there is no exclusion if the total military income exceeds $30000. The subtraction is taken on Form 502SU and the Military Overseas Income Worksheet is used to calculate the deduction.
 
Massachusetts:
There are no special tax benefits for military, however, the Massachusetts Dept of Veterans Affairs will give a one time payment of $500 to any resident after they served at least 6 months active duty in the military. They also have a $1000 benefit for personnel who serve in Iraq or Afghanistan.

 
Michigan:
Michigan requires military members to file a tax return; however, they subtract active duty pay from income. Military members with children who receive Earned Income Credit on their Federal return may collect 20% of the federal amount, even if they pay no taxes to MI.
 
Minnesota:
Minnesota subtracts Active Duty Military pay from income of MN residents. If Gross Income on Federal return other than military is less than $9500, no MN return is required.
Minnesota pays $120 per month a military resident spends in a combat zone. This is paid separately from the tax return and is claimed on Minnesota form M99

 
Mississippi:
Mississippi taxes military residents the same as other residents except that they do not tax National Guard and Reserve pay up to $15000.
 
Missouri:
MO allows resident military personnel stationed outside of MO to be treated as non-residents for tax purposes. This can be confusing but the point is that they are still a resident, just not treated that way for tax purposes. In order to be treated as a non-resident they must meet all three of the following requirements: 1) Not maintain a permanent place of abode in MO for the entire year (a parent's house is not a permanent place of abode.) 2) Maintain a permanent place of abode outside of MO for the entire year. 3) Spend no more than 30 days in MO for any reason during the year. If they meet these requirements they can file as a non-resident and exclude any military wages from gross income and need not file unless they have other MO source income.
 
Montana:
Montana requires military residents to file a tax return but exempts active military pay from taxation. Verification of active duty status must be attached to the return.
 
Nebraska:
Nebraska taxes military residents just like other residents.
 
Nevada:
Nevada does not have an income tax.
 
New Hampshire:
NH does not have an income tax but they do tax interest and dividends. Generally these would need to exceed $2400 for an individual and $4800 for a couple.
 
New Jersey:
NJ allows resident military personnel stationed outside of NJ to be treated as non-residents for tax purposes. This can be confusing but the point is that they are still a resident, just not treated that way for tax purposes. In order to be treated as a non-resident they must meet all three of the following requirements: 1) Not maintain a permanent place of abode in NJ for the entire year (a parent's house is not a permanent place of abode.) 2) Maintain a permanent place of abode outside of NJ for the entire year. 3) Spend no more than 30 days in NJ for any reason during the year. If they meet these requirements they can file as a non-resident and exclude any military wages from gross income and need not file unless they have other NJ source income.(NJ does not consider barracks maintaining a permanent place of abode outside NJ)
 
New Mexico:
New Mexico does not tax active duty military pay however; NM residents are required to file a NM return if they were required to file a Federal return.
 
New York:
NY allows resident military personnel stationed outside of NY to be treated as non-residents for tax purposes. This can be confusing but the point is that they are still a resident, just not treated that way for tax purposes. In order to be treated as a non-resident they must meet all three of the following requirements: 1) Not maintain a permanent place of abode in NY for the entire year (a parents house is not a permanent place of abode.) 2) Maintain a permanent place of abode outside of NY for the entire year. 3) Spend no more than 30 days in NY for any reason during the year. If they meet these requirements they can file as a non-resident and exclude any military wages from gross income and need not file unless they have other NY source income. NY specifically excludes barracks as an abode outside of NY for the purpose of this rule. Also, if a NY return is required to be filed to get back state taxes withheld and this exemption results in zero income (as it usually does) the return will have to be mailed in vice electronically filed.
 
North Carolina:
NC taxes military residents the same as other residents.
 
North Dakota:
ND taxes military residents the same as other residents.
 
Ohio:
Ohio does not tax military pay of OH residents stationed outside of the state of OH. They do tax military income of their residents when stationed in OH.
 
Oklahoma:
Oklahoma allows military members to exclude active duty pay. This exclusion is accomplished using Schedule 511-C. Military members are required to file an OK tax return if they were required to file a federal return.
 
Oregon:
Oregon allows a subtraction of all military pay earned while stationed outside of OR and up to $6000 earned while stationed in Oregon (Subtraction Code 319). OR also allows military residents to be treated as non residence if they spent less than 31 days in OR, did not have an abode in OR and had a permanent abode outside OR the entire year.
 
Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania does not tax Active Duty Military Income of residents stationed outside of PA and does not require a tax return; however, they do require the service member to mail or fax a copy of their orders stationing them outside of PA and their W-2.
PA DEPT OF REVENUE
NO PAYMENT OR NO REFUND
2 REVENUE PLACE
HARRISBURG PA 17129-0002
 
Rhode Island:
Rhode Island taxes military residents the same as other residents. 
 
South Carolina:
SC taxes military residents just like regular residents except that it does not tax reservist drill pay. SC is very generous to the spouses of military (residents of another state) in that they allow you to exclude the active duty income of the non-resident military member from the calculation of what percentage of deductions to allocate to the spouse. This generally results in 100% of the deductions against only the spouses SC income. It is very difficult to get tax software to handle this correctly. Line 1 of the SCNR should have no active duty military income in the Federal column.
 
South Dakota:
SD does not have an income tax.
 
Tennessee:
TN does not have an income tax but they do tax interest and dividends. Generally these would need to exceed $1250 for an individual and $2500 for a couple.
 
Texas:
Texas does not have an income tax.
 
Utah:
Utah taxes resident service members the same as other residents.
 
Vermont:
Vermont does not tax military pay of VT residents stationed outside of the state of VT. They do tax military income of their residents when stationed in VT. Military pay is subtracted on line 32. A tax return is not required if the only income is military pay while stationed outside VT.
 
Virginia:
Virginia taxes military residents just like other residents except that they give a subtraction of basic military pay of up to $15000. The subtraction phases out dollar for dollar as income goes from $15000 to $30000 and is completely gone at $30000 of income. (If a military member made less than $15000, it would all be subtracted. If they made $20000, they get to subtract $10000.) The subtraction code is 38.
 
Washington:
Washington does not have an income tax.
 
West Virginia:
West Virginia taxes military residents unless they spent less than 30 days in WV. In this case they file as a non-resident. WV does not tax military income of reserves or national guard called to active duty by Executive Order of the President.
 
Wisconsin:
Wisconsin taxes military residents the same as other residents except that they do not tax military pay of reserves or national guard called to active duty.
 
Wyoming:
WY does not have an income tax.
 
Feel free to send questions to Kirk at taxadvisor@email.com
I am available to prepare taxes via mail, e-mail, fax and online approval. No fees are charged until the return is complete and you are 100% satisfied. If the fees are too high, refund too low, or we determine that a cheaper filing method is appropriate, I will return all materials and charge no fees.
I will check any individual tax return from 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011 for free. If I find an error, I will offer to fix it for a fee if desired
 
I have made every effort to ensure the above information is 100% accurate, but I am human and the various governments love to change the rules. If you think something is wrong please inform me via e-mail.
 

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