How Do You File Taxes If You Live in Multiple States?

How Do You File Taxes If You Live in Multiple States?
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May 26, 2023
5 min read
May 26, 2023
6 min read

Filing taxes is pretty easy if you have been living and working in the same state for years. However, when you have to file multiple taxes since you are living in more than one state, it can get tiring.

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court passed a bill ruling against two states taxing a worker on the same income. While this decision favors taxpayers, it does not stop them from needing to file taxes in specific cases. So, if you have a multi-state residency history, you'll need to file separate tax returns in each state where you've lived. Read more on paystubs with no state tax.

Fortunately, this article will explain all you need to know to successfully file these taxes.

Reasons You May Have to File Taxes in Multiple States

How Do You File Taxes If You Live in Multiple States

There are several reasons you may have to file taxes in multiple states. They include:

  •  Working and Living in Different States

If you are in a situation where you live and work in separate states, you might have to file multiple taxes. Fortunately, you won't have to pay taxes in both states. You might only have to pay the tax of the place where you work rather than where you live.

  • Moving to a New State

You will also have to file taxes in more than one state if you were living in one state and moved to another within a year.

  • Conducting Businesses in Other States

If you have a business in more than one state, you may need to file state income tax returns. What applies is whatever the law in that state is.

Filing Taxes When You've Lived in Multiple States

If you have lived in two or more states, you will have to file multiple taxes. All states have their own unique requirements with regard to filing taxes. Additionally, these requirements can be different based on the type of case, such as new residency, and so on.

We'll have you know that people who have lived in more than one state in the same year have to pay part-year returns.

You can get more information about the last pay stub for taxes and tax refund from pay stub here.

Filing Taxes When You Live and Work in Different States

If you live in one state and work in another, you can file a non-resident tax. The state where you work considers you a non-resident because you already have a permanent address in another state. Before you file for the tax, you should check if your residential state is in agreement with the state where you work. Finally, if your work and home states are in reciprocal agreement, you can remit your taxes where you live.

Filing Taxes When You've Worked or Own Businesses in Multiple States

It's important to note that an increase in the number of businesses you have in various states will lead to more state returns. Then again, when you have businesses in multiple states, it might be time-consuming to file the necessary taxes. For easy and thorough tax preparation, you should contact the Tax Preparation Board. Thus, you can cover all bases where you own businesses without minding the number.

Filing Taxes When You and Your Spouse Work in Different States

In the past, it was difficult for spouses of military officers to have residency in multiple states. This was because they were not exempt from tax payments in the states where their spouses served. For this reason, they had to pay taxes to their home state and their spouse's work state. However, a bill was passed in 2009 that canceled the dual payment of tax for military service members and their spouses. In addition, you and your partner can file joint tax returns even if you both work in different states. Finally, most states make it a requirement for you to include both your and your spouse's income while filing the state tax return. 

Filing Taxes for Multiple States When You Work Across State Lines

When you work across state lines, you will have to file two different tax returns. You will file a resident state tax return where you live. Then a non-resident one in your state of employment. This way, all the income you make in your work state goes to your residential state. However, while filing the tax, you will have to indicate your earnings on the non-resident tax return.

How Do You File Taxes in Multiple States if You Have Moved?

When you change residences within a year, you'll need to file state income tax returns in more than one jurisdiction. However, filing these taxes depends on certain criteria. First, it depends on the length of your stay in the state. Then again, it depends on how long you worked in both states. Finally, it depends on whether the two states withhold the income tax from your earnings. To file taxes in these states, you can see the tax preparation services.

What to Consider When Filing Multiple State Tax Returns

Certain considerations must be made when filing tax returns in multiple states. You should consider the work state, as there are times you will have to pay your taxes to the home state on special occasions. Then again, you should check the states involved. Additionally, you should ensure the states have a reciprocity agreement signed. Significantly, filing multiple taxes will also depend on whether you have changed jobs or are keeping the same one.

How Filing Multiple State Returns Impacts Your Federal Return

We'll have you know that filing multiple state returns does not have an impact on your federal return. Your state tax return is separate from your federal income. While you report your federal income return to the IRS, you answer to the state's entity for your state returns. Although there is specific information you will use on both your federal and state tax returns, the two are entirely different.

Who Needs to File More than One State Return?

You may be required to file state tax returns in more than one state for a variety of reasons. If you change states within a year, you might need to file multiple taxes. Additionally, if you have a rental property in a different state, you will need to file multiple state tax returns. Finally, if you conduct business or work in another state, you will have to file multiple taxes.

Reporting All Your Income

Although the IRS receives over $2 trillion in tax revenue, they still notice if you refuse to report your income. For this reason, it is essential to report your income if you do not work under an employer or the government. When you report your income, you get the liberty to pay obligatory funds such as social security, medicare, state tax, and sales tax. However, if you fail to report all your income, you are liable to face wage garnishments, tax audits, monetary fines, and jail time.

How Can I Avoid Paying Double Taxes if I am Required to File in More Than One State?

Even though you may have to file state tax returns in more than one jurisdiction, you will not be subject to double taxation as a result. Thus, you should be careful to avoid paying a fee you aren't meant to pay. In the case of cross-border workers and earners, the states have to agree on which has the right to levy and receive taxes. As a result of the tax treaty, you don't have to pay two taxes.


1.   How to file multiple state tax returns?

You can file multiple state tax returns using the same account. As a taxpayer, you can file income tax for the past and present years with the same account.

2.   What do I need to know about filing taxes in two states?

To file your taxes in different states, you should check if they have a reciprocity agreement signed between them. Then again, you need to check which state has the right to receive tax between the two states.

3.   When should I file taxes in multiple states?

Someone who works in a different state from where he lives will have to file different taxes. Additionally, you have to file multiple taxes when you change states within a year.

4.   If I live in one state and work in another, where do I pay taxes?

To decide where to pay your taxes, you need to research the two states and decide which one has the right to levy taxes. For the most part, you'll still be subject to the tax laws of the state in which you really reside, even if you hold a job in another state.

5.   How long do you have to live in a state to file taxes?

Each state has different requirements and a different maximum length of stay before a worker can file taxes. However, most states consider you a full-year resident if you dwell in the state for a minimum of 183 days.

6.   Do you pay double taxes if you work in a different state?

No, you don't have to pay double taxes if you work in different states.

7.   How do I file for multiple state taxes if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed, you might have to file for multiple taxes if you have a business in other states. For example, if you own a business in the US, look at the US state taxes.

Final Thoughts on Filing Taxes in More than One State

Filing for multiple taxes is not as difficult as it sounds. You only need to know the attached laws and the right quarters to send your tax returns to. Fortunately, this article contains all you need to know about filing taxes if you’ve lived and worked in multiple states. Additionally, you can learn how to calculate your payroll taxes here.