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Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3282
Experience:  18+ years of experience in tax preparation; 25+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
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Here's the situation - In 2016, my wife worked ( still

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Here's the situation - In 2016, my wife worked ( still works) in CA and me in MN. We plan to file jointly. I must have traveled to CA for around 40-50 days total in the year ( to be with her), but I remotely worked for my MN employer while I was there. This is technically an internship job for my wife, so she is still domiciled in MN ( she does have a CA apartment lease and driving license, but she is on lease in MN too and generally provides her permanent mailing address as MN)My initial basic questions are:1. Is my wife CA non-resident?
2. Am I CA non-resident?
3. Does my employer need to withhold CA taxes? If yes, how ? - just prorated for 40-50 days?
4. When we file jointly, do we file MN resident and CA non-resident? ( or what should it be?)I am not looking for generic answers regarding 2 states' taxes etc. I would prefer specific MN/CA answers.Thanks

Hi, I'm happy to answer your question. I'm a CPA with 25 years experience. What do your W-2's say? If you haven't received them yet, what have you set up with your respective payroll departments?

It would be helpful to get more background on your situation, but I will answer your question based on what you wrote.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Haven' received 2016 W2s. All 2015 W2's mention employee addresses as MN. But the thing is, I want to indicate to my employer if he should have been doing something else to address my remote working situation ?I was in the process of editing the question when I got your reply - so I will just add the edits here
5. I understand that specific situation differs based on incomes, but would filing separate be more efficient here? May be cleaner?Also - I ask all of the above questions as going ahead,I am trying to arrange a more frequent "work from CA" status with my MN employer. Would like to know what happens when I start nearing 50% or more time in CA.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry--I meant to add that payroll probably has same info as 2015, so all addresses would currently be MN with both employers in both states.

From what you described you would both be part-year residents. As such, you would be taxed on all income received while working in CA.

For an employee, everything is driven by W-2. For example, if you never worked in CA, but your employer accidentally put CA on your W2, CA would seek income taxes. Likewise, if you work some in CA, but your W2 says MN, only MN would seek income taxes.

You would file CA part-year resident and MN part-year resident. Your wife would file only in CA unless she worked in MN. It isn't based on your drivers license or what permanent address you use. Your tax address is generally based on where you work.

Your wife lives and works temporarily in CA. It is clear all of her withholdings should be in CA. It appears that you, however, have flexibility with where you perform your work.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your question. I kindly ask that you give me a good rating if you are happy with my service. I strive to maintain my 5 star rating. I will remain online in case you have any follow on questions. -Rick

I just sent you an offer for a live phone call. I recommend we speak on the phone.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks Rick - but based on CA residency rules ( also the link you provided), I don't think me and my wife are part-time residents. We are still domiciled in MN and all my visits to CA to my wife have been temporary/transitory. Especially me - I have never established CA residency even for a short duration ( never stayed there longer than 10 days). In case of my wife, as she has started "living" there - you might say that she is a candidate for being CA resident. But note that both our payrolls/W2 shall have MN addresses.Why do you think we are part-time residents ? I think based on the definitions, we should both be non-residents of CA.I apologize but your responses are a little confusing ( may be because they are spread over a few different instances ). Could you kindly revisit the residency part and re-answer them all together in the 5 bullet point format as they were presented ? I have added clarity to the questions/reframed them as below - you can answer inline.1. Is my wife resident, non-resident or part-time resident for CA? How about for MN?2. Am I CA non-resident or part-time resident?3. Who ( between me and/or my employer) needs to do anything (what is it?) about the fact that I was working remotely from CA for 40-50 days total ?Or another way of putting this is - do I do something when I file taxes next year, or do I tell my employer to do something this year ( modify W2/withholding etc.)4. Assuming we file jointly for Federal, for State(s) if we want to stick to filing jointly, what should we exactly do? e.g is it going to be MN resident and CA non-resident?5. I understand that specific situation differs based on incomes, but would filing separate for state be more efficient here? May be cleaner?Regards,

Hi Raj, I'm going to opt out and see if another expert can better respond to your questions. I'm sorry I was unable to answer all of your questions.

Different expert here - my name is ***** ***** please allow me to provide you with additional information.

Your wife is a CA resident for tax purposes. She lives and works in CA. It does not matter to CA that she uses MN as her permanent mailing address. CA is one of the most greedy and aggressive states when it comes to taxes it believes it is owed. She will file a CA resident tax return.

You are a CA non-resident. You live and work in MN and simply visit your wife in CA. You will file a MN resident tax return.

Your employer does not need to withhold CA taxes.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Thank you and best regards,


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks Barbara .1. You mentioned that my wife is a resident for CA ( making her non-resident for MN ?). Her 2015 W2 had MN address on it, so will 2016. Does that mean only her MN tax has been withheld?2. I am still a little unconvinced (not doubting, just trying to understand ) about she being a resident though - according to your link, she is a resident only if she is in CA for a non transitory purpose or domiciled there. Not sure what all domiciled "covers", but she was an intern ( a.k.a temporary) and only got recently absorbed as a regular employee. Does "staying" in CA for an appreciably long time (e.g > 6 months) automatically make one resident for tax?3. When you say she should file CA resident (hence MN non-resident) and me MN resident (hence CA non-resident) - how does it work when we want to file state taxes jointly ? Or were you implying we should file state taxes separately? I was imagining that when we file jointly (like we did last year when she was in CA for < 6 months, again on an internship), our tax person prepared a MN resident and CA non-resident return for us jointly.Was that incorrect then?Regards,

I understand what you're saying, but CA will argue that your wife got her CA driver's license, signed a lease, etc. As I mentioned, CA is very greedy and aggressive.

Additionally, CA is a community property state, which complicates things.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Apologize for the late reply. Thanks for the response. I think I found what I was looking for in the links your provided.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Why can't I Submit and close this thread?

Not a problem.

I'll forward this to customer service so you can rate my answer and the thread can be closed.

Best regards,


Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3282
Experience: 18+ years of experience in tax preparation; 25+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
Barbara and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the positive rating of my answer. It is very much appreciated.

Best regards,