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Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
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I work in Alaska, but live in Colorado. Under topic 511, my

Customer Question

I work in Alaska, but live in Colorado. Under topic 511, my tax home is Alaska (no income taxe), though I have paid Colorado state tax for the past 4 years. If I were to backfile, could I get any of that back?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 1 year ago.

You are referring to IRS Topic 511 related to travel expenses away from home; is that correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I spend more than 50% of my year traveling and working in Alaska.
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, your "tax home" for your ability to deduct or not be eligible certain travel expenses, is not the same issue when it comes to your personal residence.

As far as Colorado is concerned, you are a resident of Colorado, maintain your home there, probably vote there, etc., thus requiring you to file a Colorado Resident State Income Tax Return.

As your resident state, Colorado expects 100% of your earned income, no matter where it is earned, to be reported on your Colorado return. Since the state where you work, has first jurisdiction over taxing your wages or earnings in that state (in your case Alaska), Colorado will give you a credit against your Colorado income taxes for any income taxes paid to the state where you work. Since there's no income tax to be paid to Alaska, there's no credit available against your Colorado State Income Tax on your earnings from Alaska.

Expert:  Stephen G. replied 1 year ago.

I'm sure that was not the answer you were looking for, but never-the-less you are in a common situation where you reside in one state and work in another; if you were working in a state with an income tax, you would be paying tax in that state by filing Non-Resident income tax returns and then you would receive the "Credit for Taxes paid to another State" on your Colorado return.

Also, the topic that you referred to (511) explains a federal regulation with respect to travel expenses and doesn't speak to residency, only defining a "tax home" for purposes of that regulation.

I'd be happy to answer any follow-up questions you may have.

If not, I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to rate my response as that is the only way we receive credit for our work.

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