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Filing State Income Taxes When You're in the Military

 

If you're a member of the military, you might have more than one option when it comes to filing state income taxes

First, you need to understand these two terms used by the military:

  • Home of Record. Your home of record is the state recorded by the military as your home when you were enlisted, appointed, commissioned, inducted, or ordered in a tour of active duty.
  • State of Legal Residency. Your state of legal residency (SLR) is your “home of record,” unless you changed it to another state. Military members often mistakenly think that changing the state on their paycheck records changes their SLR. To change the SLR, a DD Form 2058 must be submitted to your local finance officer and accepted. For information on requirements for valid changes when filing Form 2058, see the Fact Sheet on Legal Residence posted by the U.S. Air Force.

From a tax standpoint, your SLR is considered your “domicile” or “resident” state as long as you are on active duty. Even if you are stationed in another state, you’re still considered a resident of your SLR.

IMPORTANT: A new law affects where the spouses of military service members can file state income taxes. For more information, see Military Spouse Residency Relief Act and State Taxes (from Turbo Tax).

This information last reviewed 2/23/10.

 

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