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I am a US citizen who in 2018 worked in the Netherlands for a Dutch employer. I left the USA in October 2017 and went back to NYC only for 31 days in 2018. I don't own any house and my last apartment lease was terminated in September 2017. For the days I stayed in NYC, I was renting a room with AirBNB.

I am planning on filing as a non-resident for NYS/NYC since I will use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion on my Federal return. Residency rules in NYS are somewhat complicated, but since I can avoid returning until 2020, I think I should be able to use the Group B tests to say that I'm a non-resident.

However, I'm wondering if I can choose the 548 days period to start in 2017, even if for 2017 last year I filed a full-time resident return.

If not, can I re-file the 2017 NY state return as a part-time resident for the first 10 months of the 2017 and part-time non resident for November and December, so that I can start the 548 days period in 2017?

My target is to be able to stop filing state returns while I will be out of the USA for the next several years.

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Generally, your eligibility based on residency or non-residency is based on the actual truth. So the fact that you filled out your 2017 taxes the same as a full-year resident would, has no bearing on your eligibility.

Now, if you made foreign income in 2017, that should have been a factor in filling out your 2017 NY state taxes. If you concealed that income on your NY state filing because of some legal theory you imagine in your mind, then you erred. If the statement asked if you were a resident the whole year and you said yes, then you erred. Not a huge deal.

So go back and redo the 2017 taxes using 2017 forms. If previously you let some system "help you", such as TurboTax, then go back to the actual paper forms and instructions as posted as PDF on the NY tax website.

Now, compare the new form to the original filing and note any differences.

Then follow NY state's procedure for amending your tax return. Start by following the instructions to see if that is even necessary, and it will be necessary if there were material changes. From there it is straightforward, if tedious.

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    No, I did not conceal any foreign income in 2017. Just, since I was jobless in October, November and December, filing as a full time resident was simpler, and I was planning on going back to NYS in 2018, which in the end did not happen. – user180940 Mar 1 at 19:25
  • @user180940 then it's likely the difference is $0.00, and NYS might not even require you to amend. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 1 at 19:29
  • Jus finished amending my 2017 tax return. Turns out I have to pay some $120 more because part-time taxes are higher than regular full-year resident taxes. Not a big deal of course, just highlighting it in case some other people choose to take this path. – user180940 Mar 17 at 8:56

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