I work in a contracting company, so I sometimes have to move and work every few months. I have been in NC, then IL, and now in AZ.

My girlfriend lives with me, and she is a full-time student (since IL) but has not had a job at all for the entire year.

Since we have lived together in all 3 states but she has had no income and no job during the entire year of 2018. Does she need to file a State tax return for those states?

The only money she has gotten was from Pell Grants and Student Loans for her education. She does not get benefits other than from AZ Medicaid.

  • 7
    This isn’t directly related to your question, but if you haven’t already, you should check whether you can count her as your dependent. Based on my reading of the rules, you can, “if your relationship doesn’t violate local law.”
    – prl
    Mar 10, 2019 at 6:24
  • 1
    You have to go to those states revenue services' websites and read the rules.
    – Xalorous
    Mar 15, 2019 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


Short answer NO.

From North Carolina:

  • If you are a part-year resident, you must file if:

You received income while a resident of North Carolina or you received income while a nonresident that was (1) attributable to the ownership of any interest in real or tangible personal property in North Carolina or (2) derived from a business, trade, profession, or occupation carried on in North Carolina, or (3) derived from gambling activities in North Carolina and whose total gross income for the taxable year exceeds the amount shown in the Filing Requirements for Tax Year 2018 Chart for the individual's filing status.

From Illinois:

  • A part-year resident , you must file Form IL-1040 and Schedule NR, Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Computation of Illinois Tax, if
    • you earned income from any source while you were a resident,
    • you earned income from Illinois sources while you were not a resident, or
    • you want a refund of any Illinois Income Tax withheld.

From Arizona:

Individuals with an adjusted gross income of at least $5,500 must file taxes, and an Arizona resident is subject to tax on all income, including from other states. Additionally, individuals here on a temporary basis have to file a tax return reporting any income earned in Arizona.

There is much more information at the sites listed and you should consider claiming your girlfriend as a dependent if the states tax law allows.

  • 1
    Thank you for that information, However you posted in SC instead of NC. Though how will claiming my gf as a dependent affect her federal tax return. Namely her education credits? Mar 18, 2019 at 20:43
  • Sorry I edited for NC. Education credits are tax deductions, she has no tax but you might be able to deduct/claim some credit not sure. Mar 19, 2019 at 15:05
  • @needoriginalname, you would probably be best off asking that in a separate question. If she has no income she doesn't need to file a federal return, but she can in order to claim her education credits which can be partially refundable. If you claim her as a dependent she can't claim the education credits. But you could. And you may get a larger benefit from them since the maximum she can get if she has no taxable income is $1,000 refunded from the AOTC. irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/…
    – T. M.
    Mar 19, 2019 at 19:47

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