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When must you file a tax return in multiple states?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2021 | Tax Law

It’s not uncommon for people to move for a job, for a change of scenery after a divorce or to launch a business in a prime market.

If you recently relocated from one of the nine states that don’t impose a state income tax, then you might not realize that you must pay them here in Illinois. Even if you know this, you may not realize that you may be obligated to file tax returns in multiple states. Sorting out all of your tax obligations is critical.

Situations where multiple state tax returns need to be filed

You might be required to file a tax return in a different state from the one you reside in if you work remotely in one state but your employer is located in another. You may also have to do the same if you reside in one state but cross the border into another one to work. In the latter case, you might need to only pay taxes in one state (like Illinois, for example) if our state has a reciprocity agreement in place with the one where you work (like Wisconsin, for example). 

Another time you might have an obligation to file a tax return in two states is if you moved states midway through the year or live between states for a portion of the year. Your requirement to do so may be contingent upon when you moved, what state taxation requirements are in each jurisdiction and other factors.

One other time in which you may find yourself needing to file taxes in two states is if you’re married and you and your spouse file a joint tax return. You might have to file one state return then a non-resident one in another (where you don’t reside). Whether you have to comes down to, in part, whether the out-of-state employer withheld taxes from one of your paychecks. If this occurred, then you might have to file a non-resident tax return in that state. 

If you or your spouse (or the combination thereof) have multiple employers across several states, recently relocated or have property or generate income off rentals or businesses across state lines, then sorting out your tax obligations can become a bit complicated. You’ll want to take time to learn more about your other tax disclosure and paying responsibilities so that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the IRS or any state revenue authorities.