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American Hustle: States' Excessive Tax Reach on Foreign Service Officers

Posted on August 12, 2015 by Brian Levey

 

Brian Levey graduated in May 2015 from The George Washington University Law School.

In this report, Levey argues that foreign service officers serving abroad yet domiciled in the United States should not be required to pay state income taxes because they do not derive significant enough benefits to justify imposition of the tax. As a solution, he recommends that all states follow the lead of the 10 that, under some conditions, do not tax income earned while the taxpayer is outside the state. The article was selected as a winning entry in Tax Analysts' annual student writing competition.


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In his influential 1776 piece, The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith laid out the basic tax policy principles that were adopted, in part, by the Founding Fathers. One of the more oft-quoted segments describes the structure of a tax system and how to ensure its fairness: "Subjects of every state ought to contribute, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state."1 This appeal to fairness is also a founding principle of the American tax system. Tax systems at all levels strive to create a fair system that allows citizens to contribute a sum proportional to the government benefits they receive.

Yet many of our country's most dedicated civil servants are subject to taxes that require them to contribute a significant, unreasonable, and disproportionate percentage of their income to the state. During years spent abroad, Foreign Service officers (FSOs) are generally required to pay state income tax, thus supporting services that they mostly do not use. U.S. State Department guidance notes that "most states and the District of Columbia require that Foreign Service personnel continue to pay taxes while on assignment abroad."2 Even the Foreign Service's own professional association and labor union, the American Foreign Service Association, advises its members that Foreign Service personnel "must continue to pay taxes to the state of domicile . . . while residing outside of the state, including during assignments abroad."3 While the rest of us benefit from police and fire protection and other state services at home, over 15,000 active duty members of the Foreign Service4 are stationed abroad in some of the most dangerous and exotic destinations in the world -- sometimes without the basic protections of the state. Nevertheless, these individuals are often considered "domiciled" in the United States and will be required by law to pay state income taxes.

While this inconsistency may seem obvious, little attention has been given to the issue in academic circles -- perhaps because there are relatively few legal issues regarding personal income taxes. Still, the ongoing taxation of U.S. civil service personnel while serving overseas has been essentially ignored.


I. State Tax Law


The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized a state's power to tax its citizens, including those who earn income outside the state. It is a "well-established principle of interstate and international taxation that a jurisdiction may tax all the income of its residents, even income earned outside the taxing jurisdiction."5 A state, "may, and does, exert its taxing power over [ residents'] income from all sources, whether within or without the state. . . ."6 For nonresidents, a state's "jurisdiction extends only to [the] property owned within the state and . . . business, trade, or profession carried on therein, and the tax is only on such income as is derived from those sources."7

Thus, an individual's state income tax obligation is determined by whether they are legally viewed as a resident or nonresident of that state. Generally an individual qualifies as a state resident if they are domiciled in the state or if they meet statutory requirements. These definitions and statutory qualifications are explored below through the lens of Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia law because it is assumed that many FSOs are domiciled in these jurisdictions. (And in spite of this focus, it should be noted that other states have similar requirements.)

A. Domicile

 


As noted, states generally impose individual income taxes on their residents. A resident, however, is commonly defined as someone who is domiciled in the state. For example, in Virginia a resident is defined for income tax liability purposes as "every person domiciled in Virginia at any time during the taxable year."8 In Maryland a resident is defined for tax purposes as someone who "is domiciled in [Maryland] on the last day of the taxable year."9 And in the District of Columbia, a resident is defined as "an individual domiciled in the District at any time during the taxable year."10 Thus, to determine whether an FSO must pay state income taxes, one must determine if and when they are domiciled in a state.

 

States generally view a domiciliary as "an individual who has a permanent home in the state and who exhibits intent to remain in that state for an indefinite period under common law principles."11 But domicile -- as opposed to resident -- is rarely statutorily defined, so the case law and the courts have provided the primary insight into the meaning of domicile.

1. Maryland

In Maryland, domicile is not defined by statute but has been defined numerous times by the courts. In 1896 the Maryland Court of Appeals defined domicile as "the 'center of [one's] affairs,' and the place where the business of [one's] life [is] transacted."12 Then in 1940 the court stated that one's domicile is "that place where a man has his true, fixed, permanent home, habitation and principal establishment, without any present intention of removing therefrom, and to which place he has, whenever . . . absent, the intention of returning."13 It is clear from this definition that the "controlling factor in determining a person's domicile is his intent."14 Although a person's statements regarding her intent are admissible and should be considered, the two most important objective factors are where one lives and where one is registered to vote.15 Of course, other factors are pertinent to an individual's intent, including:

  • The paying of taxes and statements on tax returns; the ownership of property; where the person's children attend school; the address at which one receives mail; statements as to residency contained in contracts or other documents; statements on licenses or governmental documents; where furniture and other personal belongings are kept; which jurisdiction's banks are utilized; membership in professional, fraternal, religious or social organizations; where one's regular physicians and dentists are located; where one maintains charge accounts; and any other facts revealing contact with one or the other jurisdiction.16


One of the best examples of how far Maryland's definition of domicile reaches is Comptroller of the Treasury v. Mollard. Wesley N. Mollard was a manager at the International Telephone and Telegraph Corp.'s (ITT) facility in Columbia, Maryland, and a state resident since the early 1960s.17 In 1976, after ITT shut down the Columbia facility, Mollard accepted a new position with ITT in Brussels, Belgium. The Maryland Tax Court found that "the Mollards made as complete a move as people normally make when they abandon their old domicile and establish a new one." The Mollards rooted themselves in Belgian society -- paying Belgian taxes, joining a church, taking leadership positions in local groups, taking French classes, and sending their child to Belgian high school.

The Maryland Court of Appeals, however, reversed the Tax Court and ruled that Mollard remained domiciled in Maryland.18 According to the court, Mollard's subjective intent was not dispositive, and the critical fact was the status of his visa.19 Mollard's visa was valid only if he remained employed by ITT, and he was required to renew his visa every two years indefinitely.20 The court reasoned that his visa was a legal barrier to his subjective intent to remain in Belgium.21 Thus, Mollard was required to pay his "deficient" tax assessment in Maryland plus penalty and interest.

Individuals whom the court finds are domiciled in Maryland are thus considered residents and are subject to tax on their entire income regardless of their physical presence in the state. Thus, FSOs domiciled in Maryland, assuming their taxable income is around $100,000, will pay $90 plus 4.75 percent of their taxable income to the state. Also, Baltimore City and the 23 other Maryland counties impose a local income tax, which is a percentage of the Maryland taxable income. The local tax varies from 1.25 percent in Worcester County to 3.2 percent in Baltimore City and Montgomery, Prince George's, and Howard counties. So, an FSO deemed to be domiciled in Montgomery County would pay $4,840 in state taxes and $3,200 in local taxes -- $8,040 per year -- while stationed abroad.

2. The District of Columbia

Though technically not a state, the District of Columbia functions as a state for tax purposes and has its own Office of Tax Revenue. Under the District's tax code, the income tax is to be imposed "upon the entire net income of every resident."22 As noted, resident is defined as "an individual domiciled in the District at any time during the taxable year."23 Like Maryland, the District does not statutorily define domicile. The Supreme Court struggled with this definition in 1941, stating that "although the District . . . made 'domicile' the fulcrum of the income tax . . . it set forth no definition of that word."24 To determine the meaning of domicile, the Supreme Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals have looked to the legislative history of the Act and judicial precedents that followed.

The D.C. Court of Appeals has outlined a two-part test to determine whether an individual is domiciled in the District: physical presence and "an intent to abandon the former domicile and remain here for an indefinite period of time."25 Also, "a domicile once existing continues until another is acquired; a person cannot be without a legal domicile somewhere." The Supreme Court has clarified that "while the intention to return must be fixed, the date need not be," and that "the intention must not waver before the uncertainties of time, but one may not be visited with unwelcome domicile for lacking the gift of prophecy."26

District of Columbia v. Woods, heard before the D.C. Court of Appeals in 1983, is one of the only cases to discuss state income taxes as they apply to FSOs, albeit an FSO stationed in the District rather than abroad.27 The FSO in question was a man named Ronald E. Woods who, after being reassigned in 1974, purchased a home in the District with his wife. In addition to the home, he obtained a D.C. driver's license and two bank accounts in the District. Nevertheless, Woods maintained that he was domiciled in Florida, even though he did not own property there. However, he did visit Florida regularly, albeit never staying for more than three weeks at a time. And in 1976, while inspecting investment property, Woods opened a bank account and registered to vote in Florida. The trial court ruled that Woods's physical presence in Florida in 1976, along with his intent to remain in Florida, was sufficient to have effectively changed his domicile. The appellate court disagreed: "We do not understand physical presence to mean only a temporary visit [to Florida]. There must be the establishment of a new physical residence." Thus, in order to change one's domicile, there must be "actual removal" to the new location.

Another noteworthy District domicile case is a rare example of a court ruling that the taxpayer was not domiciled in the state. In Alexander v. D.C.,28 the taxpayer, John A. Alexander Jr., was born in the District and lived there with his parents in until 1966, when he left to work for the Navy in Japan.29 His employment contract was for three years and was renewed by the Navy for an additional two years. Over those five years, Alexander only returned to the District once, to attend his father's funeral, but after his contract concluded he returned to his childhood home. Soon after his return, the D.C. government claimed that he was liable for unpaid taxes for years 1967 to 1970. To support the argument, it cited the following facts:

The taxpayer rented housing in Japan rather than purchasing a house; never applied for Japanese citizenship or voted in a Japanese election; did not pay Japanese income taxes; and was never employed by a private Japanese enterprise; . . . did not join Japanese civic or social organizations while living abroad; continued to own stock in a Washington utility company and property in nearby Maryland; registered to vote in the District in 1964 and 1972. . . .


Alexander argued that his intent was to remain in Japan indefinitely, noting that he held bank accounts in Japan and New York; attempted to obtain other employment in Japan when his original job ended; had calling cards listing his Japanese address; had the ability to read and speak Japanese; did not use D.C. absentee voting privileges while stationed abroad; and never used his annual leave to return to Washington, except to attend the funeral.

According to the court, "to prove that persons who have left their former dwelling places and have taken up residence in another state in order to accept work in the federal civil service are domiciled in their new location, the facts adduced must demonstrate that such persons 'have no fixed and definite intent to return and make their homes where they were formerly domiciled.'"30 Although, similar to Mollard, his presence in Japan was contingent on his continued employment, the court held that Alexander was not domiciled in the District while working abroad.31

The Mollard and Alexander cases demonstrate one of many differences and contradictions in state domicile law. Both men's time abroad was determined by the length of their employment contracts, and the Mollard family, relative to Alexander, seemed to do more to ingrain themselves in Belgian society -- yet Alexander does not have to pay state income taxes while Mollard does. This confusion likely contributes to today's circumstances, where FSOs without any legal training play it safe and agree to pay state income taxes, rather than evaluating their individual circumstances. Thus, by marking oneself as domiciled in the District, they are considered residents and are subject to tax on their entire income regardless of their physical location. Assuming an FSO's taxable income is around $100,000, the District's tax rate is $2,200 plus 8.5 percent of excess over $40,000. Thus, an FSO with $100,000 of taxable income would pay around $7,300 in state taxes.

3. Virginia

Virginia is one of the few states that statutorily defines domicile. In short, under Virginia law domicile is characterized as "the permanent place of residence of a taxpayer and the place to which he intends to return even though he may actually reside elsewhere."32 In determining domicile, consideration may be given to the following:

The applicant's expressed intent, conduct, and all attendant circumstances including, but not limited to, financial independence, business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for federal income tax purposes, marital status, residence of parents, spouse and children, if any, leasehold, sites of personal and real property owned by the applicant, motor vehicle and other personal property registration, residence for purposes of voting as proven by registration to vote, if any, and such other factors as may reasonably be deemed necessary to determine the person's domicile.33


Those individuals considered domiciled in Virginia are thus considered residents and subject to tax on their entire income regardless of their physical presence in the state. The tax rate in Virginia on an FSO earning $100,000 is $720 plus 5.75 percent -- or around $6,470.

B. Statutory Residents and Nonresidents

 


In all three states, individuals may be considered "statutory" residents for tax purposes if they "maintain a place of abode" or maintain a physical presence in the state for an aggregate of 183 days, equal to around six months or more during the tax year.34 Therefore, a nonresident is, by default, every other individual other than a resident, who is neither domiciled in the state nor maintains a place of abode in the state for more than 183 days. The Supreme Court has made it clear that most states have the constitutional authority to tax nonresidents whose income -- or a proportion of it -- is derived from the state. "And we deem it clear, upon principle as well as authority, that just as a state may impose general income taxes upon its own citizens and residents whose persons are subject to its control, it may, as a necessary consequence, levy a duty of like character, and not more onerous in its effect, upon incomes accruing to nonresidents from their property or business within the state, or their occupations carried on therein."35 This authority, however, does not extend to the District.36

 

The definition of resident and nonresident plays a special role in the District. In 1973 Congress enacted the District of Columbia Home Rule Act,37 under which the D.C. Council does not have the authority to "impose any tax on the whole or any portion of the personal income, either directly or at the source thereof, of any individual not a resident of the District."38 Thus, unlike many other states, the District "predicates individual income tax liability solely on the taxpayer's resident status and not on the source of income."39 Therefore, if an FSO is not domiciled in the District and is not considered a statutory resident, then that FSO is a nonresident and subject to no tax liability in the District.


II. Policy Rationale for Taxing FSO


The aforementioned case law and definitions allow states to fund their programs by reaching across the globe and collecting taxes from individuals who aren't benefiting from state services. Although the courts may have granted states the legal foundation to require domiciled individuals to pay state taxes, is it right? Should state governments have the legal authority to collect taxes from domiciled individuals, such as Mollard, Woods, and especially individuals today who work for the Foreign Service? The answer is clearly no. This form of taxation goes against the United States' basic principles of fairness.

Thousands of diplomats operate daily in more than 270 embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic missions all over the globe. While their mission may be simply to "promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad,"40 their assignments vary greatly in geography, living standards, and difficulty. Some Foreign Service members serve in the most critical national security theaters on the planet, subjecting themselves to threats of violence and personal harm. These diplomats, however, don't necessarily return to the United States after their first two-year assignment and will instead embark on a career in the Foreign Service. Yet, as noted, many will continue to pay state income tax and provide for the state services enjoyed by many in their state of domicile that remains disconnected from their source of income and livelihood.

A. The Hypothetical FSO

 


To set the stage for purposes of this discussion, let's assume a common set of facts that will provide some clarity: A young professional in Washington, D.C. (Maryland or Virginia) receives notice from the State Department that she has been selected to serve her country as an FSO. As a young professional, she has limited ties to the District. She most likely rents an apartment under a one-year term. She is likely registered to vote in the state where she graduated from high school or the state where she attended college. Although she probably opened a bank account while living in the District, many banks have moved all or most of their services online. Therefore it is unlikely her interaction with the bank was via a bricks-and-mortar facility; rather, her only interaction with the bank may be through its website. As a single or recently married individual, she will likely pack up everything she owns and move to the embassy or consulate assigned to her by the department -- leaving no trace of personal or real property. Yet when it comes time to pay her taxes, she will likely be required to fork over individual state income tax because before departing she completed a form that indicated her state of domicile.

 

B. Domicile Analysis

 


Based on the law discussed in part I, it is difficult to determine the hypothetical FSO's state of domicile. One of the most important factors is whether the FSO "intends to return" to the state,41 but what a new FSO "intends" to do after a tour abroad is difficult to discern. It is comparable to trying to determine which college a high school freshman plans to attend. The average age of an entering FSO is 32,42 and a typical first assignment is two overseas tours (usually two years each) designed to develop a range of skills.43 An individual who completes the entire FSO application process clearly intends to put her future in the hands of the State Department. At no time does an FSO consider whether she intends to return to the state, because by definition a successful career in the Foreign Service may prevent her from returning. From Baghdad, Iraq, to Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso, to Suva, Fiji, FSOs do not know where they will be assigned and what path their careers will take. Thus, without the other contributing factors, it would be nearly impossible for the court system to determine where one of these individuals intends to return. Unlike Mollard, there is no limit to one's visa, and similar to Alexander, one's time abroad is indefinite.

 

Other factors include financial independence, property ownership, car registration, and voting residence. Since the hypothetical FSO banks online, her financial independence provides no insight regarding her domicile. Perhaps there is an address on file with the bank, but she would likely arrange to have any important documents sent to a family member or to her address abroad, leaving no pertinent evidence of her domicile. Moreover, since young professionals in the Washington, D.C., metro area rarely own a home, it is unlikely that real property ownership would connect them to the District, Maryland, or Virginia. If she did register a car in the District, she would certainly have either sold the car before she left or arranged for it to be shipped abroad. Nevertheless, the car registration factor alone seems inadequate to link an individual to a state for domicile purposes.

Lastly, the voter registration element is certainly significant, and it was highlighted as an important element by the Maryland Court of Appeals in Blount v. Boston.44 Like most government employees, FSOs are generally more politically involved than the public at large and therefore are more likely to be registered to vote. Thus, it is highly likely that an FSO maintains her voter registration in a state. Some might argue that this nexus is sufficient to establish domicile, but this seems negligible relative to what is at stake. As noted, if an FSO is subject to state income tax, it can cost $6,000 to $8,000 each year. The number of FSOs voting absentee is an infinitesimally small percentage of the voting public; thus, a fee of this size is not justified by the state's administrative costs associated with distributing these ballots.

C. FSOs Should Not Be Legally Required to Pay State Taxes

 


The Supreme Court has said on multiple occasions that a state has the authority to tax a person domiciled within it. "As a federal constitutional matter, the fact that a person is domiciled in a state is sufficient basis for the state to tax the person's worldwide income regardless of where that income is earned."45 Also, "there is no federal constitutional bar to two or more states each classifying a person as a domiciliary for state tax purposes."46 But how the Court defines the term "domicile" may not be correct, and the Constitution does not always apply squarely to today's circumstances.

 

Fairness is a founding principle of our tax system. A fair tax system, in the most basic sense, is one in which those individuals protected by and benefiting from the state are also paying their proportional share of state revenue. "Enjoyment of the privileges of residence in the state and the attendant right to invoke the protection of its laws are inseparable from responsibility for sharing the costs of government."47 In other words, "taxes are what we pay for civilized society."48 But what about individuals who receive little to no benefit from the state and live in what some would characterize as an "uncivilized" society abroad? Should they be required to share in the costs of government?

In terms of federal income tax, there is no debate. FSOs stationed abroad should be required to pay. Not only does their salary come from this pool of federal tax revenue, but also their protection abroad and the security at the embassy; in fact, in many cases their living arrangements are fully funded by the federal government. The issue discussed here is the requirement to pay state income tax.

An FSO stationed at a U.S. embassy abroad has minimal connections to the state where they came from. Nevertheless, thousands of these individuals before going abroad fill out a form in which they are required to indicate a state in which they are domiciled.49 More than likely, government practices have over time veered to the "better safe than sorry" policy of requiring FSOs to select a domicile before departure, rather than advising them on their true legal status regarding state income tax. Without legal training and an intricate understanding of the tax code, many FSOs select the state where they currently reside, and thus will continue to pay state income taxes to that state for the remainder of their time abroad.

Unless an FSO owns property in the state, there should be an exception within the state tax code for federal employees stationed abroad indefinitely by the federal government. Without this exception, FSOs are forced to pay for fire, police, utility, and other state services from which they clearly do not benefit.


III. Solution


There are currently 10 states that under some conditions do not tax income earned while the taxpayer is outside the state, and otherwise consider the taxpayer a nonresident.50 To qualify for the exemption, most require a permanent place of abode outside of the state and limit the number of days allowed in the state. The requirements for all except California, Idaho, Minnesota, and Oregon are that the individual not have a permanent "place of abode" in the state, have a permanent place of abode outside the state, and not be physically present for more than 30 days during the tax year. California allows up to 45 days in the state during a tax year. Although some of these states exclude Foreign Service members, this definition should be extended to all states and should include members of the Foreign Service.

For example, in New Jersey, an individual is considered a nonresident for tax purposes if they did not maintain a permanent home in New Jersey, did maintain a permanent home outside of New Jersey, and did not spend more than 30 days in New Jersey during the tax year.51 A permanent place of abode is defined as "a residence (a building or structure where a person can live) that you maintain permanently as your household, whether you own it or not."52 In other words, the hypothetical FSO discussed above would meet all requirements in New Jersey. She would not maintain a permanent home in the state; she would maintain a permanent home in whichever country she is assigned, and more than likely would not spend more than 30 days within the state. Similar definitions should be adopted by other states -- including the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland -- so that the hypothetical FSO discussed above and real FSOs currently serving overseas are not required to pay state income tax.


FOOTNOTES


1 David Brunori, State Tax Policy: A Political Perspective, 12 (2011).

2 FSI Transition Center, Overseas Briefing Center, Chapter 7: Income Taxes.

3 2014 AFSA Tax Guide.

4 AFSA, Foreign Service Statistics. This number is composed of the State Department, the Commerce Department, and other agencies that have assigned individuals overseas to carry out missions including United States Agency for International Development. At the State Department the total number of Foreign Service and Civil Service employees overseas is 9,367, as of Dec. 31, 2014.

5Oklahoma Tax Comm'n v. Chickasaw Nation, 515 U.S. 450, 451 (1995) (emphasis added).

6Shaffer v. Carter, 252 U.S. 37, 57 (1920) (emphasis added).

7Id.

8 Va. Code Ann. section 58.1-302 [emphasis added].

9 Md. Code Ann., Tax-Gen. section 10-101 [emphasis added].

10 D.C. Code section 47-1810.01(a) [emphasis added].

11 Aaishah Hashmi, "Is Home Really Where the Heart Is?: State Taxation of Domiciliaries, Statutory Residents, and Nonresidents in the District of Columbia," 65 Tax Law. 797, 798 (2012).

12Thompson v. Warner, 83 Md. 14 (1896).

13Shenton v. Abbott, 178 Md. 526, 530 (1940).

14Blount v. Boston, 351 Md. 360, 368 (1998).

15Id. 351 Md. 368-369 (1998).

16Id. at 369-370 (1998).

17Comptroller of the Treasury v. Mollard, 53 Md. App. 631, 632 (1983).

18See Mollard, 53 Md. App. 631.

19Id. at 638.

20Id. at 634.

21Id. at 638: "An intent inconsistent with law is unrealistic and insufficient to establish a domicile."

22 D.C. Code section 47-1810.01(a) (emphasis added).

23 D.C. Code section 47-1801.04(42).

24D.C. v. Murphy, 314 U.S. 441, 449 (1941).

25Heater v. Heater, 155 A.2d 523, 524 (D.C. 1959).

26D.C. v. Murphy, 314 U.S. 441, 455 n. 9 (1941).

27D.C. v. Woods, 465 A.2d 385 (D.C. 1983).

28Alexander v. D.C., 370 A.2d 1327 (D.C. 1977).

29Id. at 1328.

30Id at 1329 (citing D.C. v. Murphy, 314 U.S. at 454-455).

31Id.

32 Va. Code Ann. section 58.1-302.

33Id.

34See D.C. Code section 47-1801.04(42); Va. Code Ann. section 58.1-302; Md. Code Ann., Tax-Gen. section 10-101.

35Shaffer v. Carter, 252 U.S. 37, 52 (1920).

36Supra note 11, at 802-803.

37See D.C. Code section 1-201.01.

38 D.C. Code section 1-206.02(a)(5).

39D.C. v. Terris, 604 A.2d 5, 9 (D.C. 1992).

40 U.S. Department of State, "Foreign Service Officer."

41Blount at 369, Alexander at 1329, Shaffer at 52.

42 Menachem Wecker, "Foreign Service Welcomes Graduate Student Applicants," U.S. News & World Report, Mar. 19, 2012.

43 U.S. Department of State, "Worldwide/Foreign Service."

44Blount at 369.

45Cohn v. Graves, 300 U.S. 308 (1937).

46See Cory v. White, 457 U.S. 85 (1982); Worcester County Trust Co. v. Riley, 302 U.S. 292 (1937).

47People of State of New York ex rel. Cohn v. Graves, 300 U.S. 308, 313 (1937).

48Compania Gen. de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue, 275 U.S. 87, 100 (1927).

49 DiploLife, Foreign Service Tax Time Playlist (Feb. 1, 2010) ("Being in the foreign service complicates taxes, unless you were already a Virginia resident. When you join, you have to pick a 'state of domicile' which is typically the place where you vote, hold licenses, own property, etc. Since we lived in DC prior, we kept DC as our domicile, which means we pay DC state taxes along with federal taxes while we are abroad. If Florida or Washington is your state of domicile, you are lucky to not have to pay state income taxes.")

50 California, Connecticut, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 2014 AFSA Tax Guide.

51 New Jersey Division of Taxation, "NJ Income Tax -- Nonresidents."

52 New Jersey Division of Taxation, "Part-Year Residents."


END OF FOOTNOTES