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I moved to Massachusetts in the second half of 2019 and started a new job. I'm trying to calculate my exemption for the 2019 tax year. The "2019 Massachusetts Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax" guide says:

"Part-year residents. Prorate your total exemp- tions claimed on Form 1-NR/PY by multiplying line 22a by line 3 and entering the result in line 22. This amount represents your prorated exemp- tions as a part-year resident."

I just want to clarify—does this mean I have a smaller exemption because I lived in the state for less time? It just seems backwards to me that I would pay more taxes even though I lived in the state for a smaller amount of time, so I want to make sure I'm reading this correctly.

Also as bonus, does anyone know how common this tax policy is across states? I'm curious if there's precedent for it or if it's a MA special snowflake :).

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I looked at the part year form:

Line 3 is the percent of the year you will lived in the state.

For the exemptions (line 22a), Earned Income tax credit (line 47c), Deductions (line 17b) you multiply the value by the percent of time you lived in the state.

This is exactly how the other state should be doing it. This is fair because if you are only in state A for 25% of the year you should only be able claim 25% of the exemptions. Otherwise you could move every month and get 12 full exemptions.

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  • Thank you so much for this! I think what I cared about most here was understanding the logic of the law, and you gave a very good rationale.
    – voltair
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 14:53

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