I am an undergraduate, whose permanent address (parents' address) is in New York City, going to school in Upstate NY. I live out of NYC 10 months a year and do not work while I am in NYC. Since my permanent address is in NYC, do I still have to pay city taxes?
If you live in New York City and earn income, you are charged personal income tax.
Also, see the withholding requirements for businesses for further proof:
Who you must withhold tax for
New York City residents even when services are performed outside New York City
Now, you said you don't live there for 10 months out of the year, so that could change whether you are considered a resident or not. The relevant form is IT-2104.1, and it states:
Your domicile is not New York City but you maintain a permanent place of abode in New York City for more than 11 months of the year and spend 184 days or more (any part of a day is a day for this purpose) in New York City during the taxable year.
So, I think it depends on whether that place you live for those 2 months is maintained and ready to go for the other 10 months. It sounds like if it is (like you maintain an apartment there), then you are still considered a resident.
You could also be considered a part-year resident.
The intricacies of this are getting to be outside the scope of my knowledge, but hopefully this helps at least as a starting point until someone who knows better can answer (or ask the right questions).
In most cases, if you don’t live in New York City you aren’t required to pay New York City personal income tax.
To correct the last part of the above statement if you live outside the city but work in the city you do not pay taxes on each paycheck but do have to file a NYC-1027 with your taxes. Which is the same as paying the taxes over the year just all at one time and directly to the NYC Department of Finance.