I got a job in Maryland (starting june 2020) and moved to the state after graduation in May. However I was still “officially” a resident of Michigan until the end of August (that is, i got my drivers license changed then to a maryland license at the end if August. Which I believe is what makes me a resident of MD. The delay was because Covid.)

EDIT: the W-4 originally filed in Maryland listed Michigan as my address. This was changed after I got a MD driver's license.

So, if I understand this correctly, although I lived in Maryland for the entire time I was working here, I wasn’t a “resident” for June-Sept. Does this mean I need to file part-year tax returns for both states?

3 Answers 3


You may have to file in both states.

First determine when you switched from Michigan to Maryland. The switch of the drivers license shows that you made Maryland your new residence, but the date of the license isn't necessarily the date you switched residence. Other key events that show the change are registering to vote, and registering your car.

When picking the date you could use the day you left Michigan for the last time, or the date you arrived in Maryland.

Once you have that date everything before that is assigned to your old state, and everything on or after that date is assigned to your new state. By income that would include income from a job, but also any interest or dividends received. Both states should have a form and instructions on how to correctly file. The date will also be used to reduce any standard deductions or credits on your state taxes. Pay attention to the requirements regarding which forms need to be submitted. The states may require you submit a copy of the form for the other state.

Here is a clarification on the state version of the W-4

Lets assume:

  • You make $3,000 a month. and you move to Maryland on August first.
  • Your employer uses the Michigan W-4 until 31 August.

The January though the end of July (7 months) is Michigan income and the employer sends the state tax being withheld to Michigan.

During August the money that should have been assigned to Maryland will be sent to Michigan at the Michigan rate.

The income for September though December (4 months) will be assigned to Maryland and the withheld amount will be sent to Maryland.

That will mean that you will likely get a refund from Michigan and owe money to Maryland when you file in the Spring.

The date you switched the W-4 doesn't impact what you should pay each state. Getting it close to the correct date will minimize the miss-assignment of income tax withholding.

  • Does the fact that I had a Michigan W-4 (incorrectly) for a few months after moving to MD before correcting it affect my “move date”?
    – Peter_Pan
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:35
  • as an aside, I was working with the (clearly incorrect) assumption that the “move date” was a function of getting a new drivers license (hence i corrected the W-4 after getting my MD drivers license)
    – Peter_Pan
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:36
  • @Jess what does "Michigan W-4" mean?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 19:00
  • 2
    @Jess I think this new fact which you didn't mention in question means that you've got to file and pay taxes in both states.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 19:12
  • 2
    Definitely file in both states even if you had no income in Michigan. When I moved from one state to another, I somehow failed to submit my taxes in the state I moved from. A number of years later, I was hounded by a debt collector seeking thousands of dollars I "owed" to that state. They had pulled my federal tax return and assumed all my income was earned there. In actuality, I was owed a refund by that state. Not only was it not fun to be harassed by a really obnoxious (and frankly: stupid) person at work and sort all that out, it was 'too late' to get my refund.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 16:56

MarylandTaxes.gov is a great site; they even have interview-style filing just like paid software.

Specifically, Tip #52 walks you through how to file your MD502 (Maryland's "main" form, like 1040 is for federal).

The site will likely ask you the dates and compute the percentages as needed.


i got my drivers license changed then to a maryland license at the end if August. Which I believe is what makes me a resident of MD.

Not true. You become a resident when you (permanently) move; drivers' licenses have nothing to do with it.

Thus, if you only got a paycheck while working in Maryland, you only pay taxes in Maryland.

EDIT: information added later in comments show that the W-4 filed in Maryland listed Michigan as OP's official residence. Therefore, "if you only got a paycheck while working in Maryland, you only pay taxes in Maryland" is invalid.

  • 2
    This is incorrect - "graduation in May" says they were a college student, which means their state of residence remained Michigan. Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:01
  • 1
    @AaronD.Marasco people "get" (as in "accept") jobs all the time before graduation, and then start working after graduation.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:04
  • 1
    @PeteBecker why must OP file in Michigan if OP didn't get any paychecks while in Michigan?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:05
  • @PeteBecker I added the qualification "if you only got a paycheck while working in Maryland,".
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:08
  • 2
    @Jess what state? Michigan? (If so, was it because your Maryland employer had a document stating that Michigan was your official residence?) There's a lot you aren't telling us, which all impact the answer.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 18:59

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