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I am a US citizen.

I quit my job in California and moved to take another job in the UK in October 2013. For FY 2013, I filed both federal and CA state taxes, since part of that year's income came from my previous job in the US.

In this tax year (FY 2014), all of my income came from my UK job. I'm pretty sure the income is below that threshold (~$100k?) where you pay no federal taxes.

I plan to still file my Federal taxes of course, but do I still need to file CA state taxes?

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According to CA.gov

A California 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 located outside California for a temporary or transitory purpose.
    • 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.

It then goes on to say that

California residents - Taxed on ALL income, including income from sources outside California.

So if you are domiciled in California, you need to file a state tax return and will likely owe taxes to the state. Just because you previously lived in California, does not mean you need to be domiciled there. While there are rules about establishing domicile, it really is up to you to decide where in the US you are domiciled while you are living in the UK. Two things to consider when choosing a place to be domiciled are state taxes and state and federal elections. Where you are domiciled will influence where you vote.

  • Do I have to be domiciled in any particular state? I have no plans for returning to the US for the foreseeable future. If yes, are my domicile options limited to states I've lived in before? – SuperElectric Mar 23 '15 at 18:54
  • @SuperElectric establishing domicile can be difficult. From my understanding, CA is amongst the worst claiming lots of people are domiciled there so they can collect state income tax and then turning around and saying you are not domiciled there when you try and qualify for in state tuition for university/college. It is probably reasonable to ask it as a new question, but the answer might be you need a laywer. – StrongBad Mar 24 '15 at 18:40
  • The idiosyncracies of CA aside, if I live permanently abroad, do I still have to be domiciled in some state? Or can I be put down as un-domiciled, or domiciled abroad? (Asking this here, since I think it's still relevant to the original question.) – SuperElectric Mar 24 '15 at 18:48
  • @SuperElectric I do not really understand domicile, but I believe you must be a resident/domiciled in some state. There may be edge conditions (e.g., US citizens who have never been to the US), but being an expat is not one of them. If you are not trying to collect any state benefits (e.g., in state tuition or voting rights) then I do not think you need to do anything for the new state, but if you are trying to change your domicile from a state that has state income tax for non-residents, you may need to prove to that state that you are no longer domiciled there. – StrongBad Mar 24 '15 at 19:17
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    @SuperElectric if you are living full time in the UK then you are not a resident of the US and you are not a resident of any US state. There is no need for a non-resident US citizen to be "domiciled" in any state. For the purposes of absentee voting in presidential elections, you are supposed to vote in the state where you most recently lived, but that has nothing to do with paying taxes. On its face, the rule described above seems to indicate that as far as California is concerned, you are domiciled in the UK. – phoog Mar 27 '15 at 17:22

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