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Military Spouse Residency Relief Act

This act was passed in 2009 and allows the option of aligning your residency along with your spouses. This new law supports military spouses from a number of things arising from residency issues including:

  1. Voting
  2. Taxes
  3. Driver’s licenses
  4. Auto registration
  5. Property ownership
  6. Education benefits including in state college expenses and savings plans
  7. Wills and estate plans
  8. Powers of attorney
  9. Divorce issues “The spouse’s (military and nonmilitary) choice of residence may allow them to avoid “community property” laws, longer-term child support payments (some states extend child support payments past age 18) and alimony, among others, despite living in that state at the time the document is entered into or divorce is filed.”

Military Spouse Residency Relief Act

This means you get to keep your original state of residency no matter where your spouse is stationed.  Hence, you can keep your original driver’s license.  The big protection piece comes in the form of taxes.

This was passed to me about the state of California and income earned from a military spouse stationed in California (received from a Family Readiness Officer at Camp Pendleton)

“In general, it states that if a Military member is stationed in one state (ex: California) but his/her home of record is in another (ex: Texas), the spouse is not required to pay California state taxes while employed in California. I did confirm this with the State of California Franchise Tax Board via telephone today.

The Act includes taxes beginning Jan 1, 2009. In order to receive the full amount of California taxes paid for 2009, spouses need to complete and file the California Tax form 540 NR – it was suggested by the person with whom I spoke at the Franchise Tax Board to write “Military Spouse” in the upper right hand corner of the form to expedite the processing and reduce confusion since this is a new “law” this year.

Also, I was informed I should complete the DE4 Form and submit it to my employers payroll department or requesting exemption from California State Taxes”.

More from the California Tax and the Residency Relief Act.