Married in NY State

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tangerineunderground
tangerineunderground Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

My wife and I lived in different states for part of last year - I was a full-year NJ resident and she lived in NYC for 8 months before moving in with me. How should we file for NYS? The instructions leave this situation a bit vague.

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  • rachels
    rachels FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 50
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    Hello tangerineunderground,

    Are you filing as Married Filing Separately (MFS) for the year? If you are filing as MFS for both your federal and state tax returns for 2023, that will simplify the matter. In that case, you and your spouse would each have your own account on our website and enter your own, separate income for the federal and state returns.

    If you are wanting to file as Married Filing Jointly (MFJ), it can be a little more complicated. According to the NY State instructions, "In most cases, you must use the same filing status you used on your federal return."

    see page 6: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/2023/printable-pdfs/inc/it201i-2023.pdf

    If you file as MFJ on your federal and NY tax return, you will typically be taxed on the income earned by both of you during your "joint" period of residency. This can result in some of your income being taxed by more than one state. If this is the case, you can typically claim the Credit for Taxes Paid to Another State to offset some of the double-taxed income.

  • tangerineunderground
    tangerineunderground Member Posts: 2 Newcomer
    edited March 15
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    Thank you. We're filing MFJ on federal. I've read the NYS guidance, but it's a little ambiguous for the case where one person is a part-year resident and the other person is a non-resident.

    Furthermore, my wife lived in NYC for the period she lived in NYC. How does that factor in since NYC has city tax on income?

  • Henry
    Henry FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 86
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    The NY instructions state that you generally need to use the same filing status that you used on your federal return unless one spouse is a NY resident and the other is a nonresident or part-year resident. In your situation, it sounds like one spouse is a part-year resident and the other is a nonresident, so that exception does not seem to apply to you. In that case, you may need to use the same filing status that you used on your federal return.

    When you file a NY tax return, you will be asked about your NYC residency and the local income tax will be included in the calculation of your return.