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I read on Page 4 of FTB Pub. 1031 2019 (mirror) (I italicized the important passages):

[Section E:] Who Are Residents and Nonresidents

A resident is any individual who meets any of the following:

  • Present in California for other than a temporary or transitory purpose.
  • Domiciled in California, but outside California for a temporary or transitory purpose. See Section L, Meaning of Domicile.

A nonresident is any individual who is not a resident.

A part-year resident is any individual who is a California resident for part of the year and a nonresident for part of the year.

and:

[Section L:] Meaning of Domicile

Domicile is defined for tax purposes as the place where you voluntarily establish yourself and family, not merely for a special or limited purpose, but with a present intention of making it your true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment. It is the place where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. The maintenance of a marital abode in California is a significant factor in establishing domicile in California.

Does this mean that an individual who hasn't been in California in 2019 but is domiciled in California throughout 2019 is a California tax resident?


I also read on https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/tax-law/b/stateandlocaltaxation/posts/california-residency-for-income-tax-purposes:

As a general rule, California imposes a tax on the entire taxable income of all California residents. [Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 17041(a)]. Section 17014(a) of the California Revenue and Taxation Code defines a "resident" as either "every individual domiciled in this state who is outside the state for a temporary or transitory purpose" or "every individual who is in this state for other than a temporary or transitory purpose." ...

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Yes, you can be physically absent from California but still be domiciled in California. However, there are some safe harbor items and other details specific to certain professions, so it is best to run it by your accountant.

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