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I am an F1 student on OPT and my employer is based out of Washington. This would be my only source of income. Given the remote work situation now, I am planning to stay in a different state and work. As I am a non resident in the state that I am temporarily in and my income source is only in Washington, would I owe taxes in my current state. Specifically, I am thinking about Georgia and Missouri.

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    Why do you think you are a non-resident in "state that I am temporarily in "? Where are you a resident? Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 23:35
  • Thanks for the detailed answer. I am an international student and I believe I would not be considered a resident in any of the US states until 5 years.
    – Prat
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 0:13
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    I think you may well be wrong about that, for state tax purposes. Remember that the definition of "resident" for one kind of law (migration, say) may well not apply for another kind. I urge you to check with the state authorities or a knowledgeable professional. If the answer was helpful, you can upvote it by clicking the up-arrow, and/or accept it as correct by clicking the check mark (aka the tick mark) Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 1:17

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According to this Georgia web page:

Non-residents who work in Georgia or receive income from Georgia sources and are required to file a Federal income tax return are required to file a Georgia Form 500 Individual Income Tax Return.

If you are a legal resident of another state, you are not required to file a Georgia income tax return if:

  • Your only activity for financial gain or profit in Georgia consists of performing services in Georgia for an employer as an employee
  • The compensation for services performed does not exceed the lesser of five percent of the wages in all places or $5,000.00

Thus if you have no income from Georgia sources at all, and are only temporarily in Georgia, but are not a legal resident there, there should be no income tax liability to Georgia.

The corresponding Missouri page is not as clear, but similar rules seem to apply. This other page says:

If the taxpayer is required to file a federal return, the taxpayer must file a Missouri return unless he or she meets one of the following requirements:

  • The taxpayer is a nonresident and has less than $600 of Missouri adjusted gross income, or
  • The taxpayer's Missouri adjusted gross income is less than the amount of the taxpayer's standard deduction plus the exemption amount for the taxpayer's filing status.

The first of these seems to apply to the situation in the question.

However note that in Missouri:

A resident is an individual who either maintained a domicile in Missouri or did not maintain a domicile in Missouri but did have permanent living quarters and spent more than 183 days of the taxable year in Missouri.

Even a fairly temporary stay might count as "maintaining a domicile" and thus put a person into the class of "part-year resident" and thus require filing and paying tax. Similar rules seem to apply in Georgia. Be careful as the legal definition of "resident" may not be what one thinks it is.

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I take issue part of the answer by David Siegel. The Georgia web page cited by Mr. Siegel is only a summary. A more complete description can be found on the Georgia IT-511 Individual Income Tax Booklet download page, specifically the 2022 booklet. In that booklet we find, on page 9 & 10,

  1. Legal residents of other states are not required to file a Georgia tax return if their only activity for financial gain or profit in Georgia consists of performing services for an employer as an employee where the wages for such services does not exceed the lesser of five percent of the income from performing services in all places during the taxable year or $5000.

The original poster, Prat, says this is their only source of income. Thus whatever is earned in Georgia would be 100% of the income for performing services in all places, and taxes would be due in Georgia. The exception would be if the total income is low enough that a tax return need not be filed. Even if total income is low enough that no return needs to be filed, it may be better to do so to get a refund of wages that were withheld for taxes, or any tax credits that might be available.

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