Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/NJ Tax Law for multiple issues (Residence and Selling a home)
I hope I can explain this as briefly as possible, and right up front, thank you for any guidance you can give.
In short here is what occurred in 2015:
My wife and I own a home (12 years) in NJ and have been trying to sell it with no success in 2015. It is still up for sale.
I am retired from the military collecting a pension and am currently unemployed. 2015 was my first full year of retirement.
My wife worked for 4 months (in NJ) and was laid off. She collected NJ unemployment for 4 months and then relocated to Florida to accept a Federal Job.
My wife has worked and lives in an apartment in Florida for 4 months.
My wife has not claimed Florida residency as of yet.
Here are my Questions because I am TAX CONFOUNDED on multiple levels.
1 - Can my wife claim permanent residency in Florida while still owning a home in NJ if I don't claim residency in Florida?
2 - Given our situation, should my wife claim permanent residency in Florida and if so, how does that effect the sale of our home in NJ tax-wise?
3 - Since my wife has not claimed permanent residency in Florida for 2015, will I still have to file 2 NJ state tax forms for Resident/Non-resident since 4 months of income will show it was from outside NJ?
4 - Should we files separate or joint returns? I believe our situation has no impact for Federal returns so I am assuming we file jointly as usual. But I am confused about what to do for the NJ Tax even after reading the following publication from the NJ Treasury.
5 - Lastly, and probably most importantly, I have done (confidently) my own taxes every year for the last 35 years without issue. This year, I am not comfortable with taking this bear on. In your opinion, is this a unjustified fear of the unknown, or is this situation now a job for a professional?
Again, thank you for your effort and time.
first. thanks for your service to our country.
second, look up "VITA TAX SENIOR LOW INCOME" and include your town or largest city near by. many locations provide free tax services. you should be able to find plenty of locations where you can get them to help you with your returns
the key for your wife's residency is where does she plan to make and call home. it is a "facts and circumstances test" if she is waiting in fla for a nj job ot open up so she can post for that and move back, she is not a florida resident. if it is her intent to actually stay there for the foreseeable future and register to vote, open bank accounts go to church and doctors and generally make florida home (moving from temporary housing to an apartment for example. then I would feel comfortable advising that she is indeed a florida resident (including there is drivers license before year end. vote and banks!)
that saves the nominal nj tax you would pay on her earnings in fla.
one nice part of the recent tax legislation is that there are now additional tax credits available to employeers who hire people who have been unemployed longer than 27 weeks. google that "new tax law extender passed congress tax credit unemployed worker" Or something like that and it will pop up for you. show that to potential job applications.