There are many factors in determining whether or not you will need to file a tax return in any particular state. Where you maintain your permanent residence, or domicile, is just one of those factors. In a year in which you move from one state to another you need to understand how state taxing authorities determine your domicile.
Most states look at where you maintain a domicile or permanent residence in order to determine residency for state income tax purposes. A taxpayer may only have one domicile, but have more than one home. Domicile is based on many factors, including your intent, where you register to vote, maintain a driver’s license and vehicle registration, have family ties, etc. The burden of proof is upon the taxpayer who intends to change domicile. And sometimes the individual spouses of a married couple are considered residents of different states.
A move from one state to another is generally considered the date that your residency begins or ends in a particular state. Intent is an important element of this – did you permanently leave one home and establish a new, fixed, and permanent home elsewhere? Can you prove this with written documentation?
In addition to residency there are other factors that determine whether or not you need to file a state tax return for a particular state. This post is meant to provide general information, and is not a replacement for consulting a CPA regarding your particular circumstances.