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In 2018 I was a resident of New Jersey the whole year, but my spouse was a part-year resident: he permanently moved to Germany on August 1st and established his domicile there. After that date, he earned wages and paid (high!) taxes in Germany.

We filed joint federal income tax. For the federal income tax, we reported his German earnings but avoided double taxation by using a foreign tax exclusion.

For the NJ income tax, my understanding is that he should not have to report his German earnings, since he was no longer a resident of NJ.

But is it possible indeed to file a joint NJ state income tax return, with myself being a full-year resident, and him being a part-year resident? I don't see any reason why not but I didn't find the documentation clear on that point: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/pubs/tgi-ee/git6.pdf

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    Seub - I reversed your bounty, to keep you over 100 rep, and added my own, to help you get your question answered. – JoeTaxpayer Mar 23 at 14:45
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    @JoeTaxpayer Thank you so much! – Seub Mar 23 at 14:48
  • @JoeTaxpayer I didn't know you could reverse a bounty. Can you not accept one as well? – T. M. Mar 23 at 22:46
  • I didn’t know this before today, I used my mod screen, and the undo bounty was there. We’ll see what happens in 7 days. Not sure if I have to come back to award it or if OP does. – JoeTaxpayer Mar 23 at 23:16
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    @JoeTaxpayer No, it does not. My question is: can a married couple file a NJ joint return when one spouse is a full-year resident and the other spouse is a part-year resident. The answer below does not answer that question, and does not provide any new information compared to the pdf that I linked. – Seub Mar 30 at 18:47
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It appears your husband would meet the requirements for NJ tax residency since August 1 would mean he lived there for more than 183 days, but you'd have to verify the residency status from the document you linked. Look at the definitions of domicile, Full-year Resident, and the exemptions under Full-year Nonresident on page 3.

If he meets the requirements for a non resident then The instructions for the New Jersey 1040 state:

In general, you must use the same filing status as you do for federal purposes

Then gives some exemptions that you may meet stating:

If during the entire tax year one spouse was a resident and the other a nonresident, the resident can file a separate New Jersey return. The resident calculates income and exemptions as if a federal married, filing separate return had been filed. You have the option of filing a joint return, but in that case, your joint income would be taxed as if you both were residents.

The 1040 NJ instructions also state "Only report income you earned while a New Jersey resident." in the Part-Year Residents section, so you seem to be in good shape there.

  • Your answer seems to ignore the notion of "part-year resident": see linked file. A part-year resident is only required to report his/her income for the portion of the year that he/she was a resident. – Seub Mar 23 at 21:28
  • Yes, it appears I did miss that. I've corrected it above. – T. M. Mar 23 at 22:39

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