Technically, your tax home is where you have roots, a drivers license and are registered to vote. But as a college student, the simplest approach is to declare your tax home in the state where you earned the income in you earned it where you go to school.
Good question. I am facing the same question. I went to school in Chicago (IL), did my internship in New York (where I earned income), before starting my company (CA). My home state is VA. Would love some input on this field to make sure I'm filing accurately!
Your state of residence, sometimes referred to as your home state, is the state where your roots are. Attending college in a state does not come anywhere close to making you a residence of that state *FOR TAX PURPOSES*. While colleges will have their own residency requirements to determine if you pay resident tuition rates or non-resident tuition rates, it has absolutely no bearing on your home state for your taxes.
Generally, an undergraduate qualifies to be claimed as a dependent on the parent's tax return. So the student's home state is the state they lived in (usually with the parents) before starting college. Each state has their own residency requirements and definition of what constitutes a resident of that state. Attending a college in that state isn't one of them.
Generally, for federal tax purposes your home state is:
- Where you got your drivers license issued (and your resident address as shown on that license)
- Where your vehicle is registered
- Where you are registered to vote
- Where you own real property
There are many more, of which I've got a brain block on right now and can't think of them. But understand that just because you may meet college requirements to pay lower resident tuition rates, that does not in any way mean you are a resident of that state for federal tax purposes.
As an example, lets say your parents' are in Illinois and that's where you grew up/attended high school, and after graduating HS you when to Wisconsin to attend college. If you claim WI as your resident state, then your parent's can not claim you as a dependent and your parents can not claim "ANY" of the education credits. Additionally, you can't qualify for any of the education credits either. So it would be a lose-lose for everyone.
In a nutshell, for the 4 years you are in college your home state is where your parents live, and your parents will claim you as their dependent for all four years.
Simple answer: no. But, as the other replies indicate, it depends on the details. For most college students, who are still dependents of their parents, their home state is where there parents live. This is true even if you live off campus, at school.
But, if you earned income in the state where the school is, you may have to file a non-resident state tax return and pay income tax to that state, You still have to file a home state return, but your home state will give you a credit for what you pay the non-resident state. Some states have reciprocal agreements**, in which case you file only a home state return.
** List of reciprocal states: https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/state-taxes/help/which-states-have-reciprocal-agreements/00/25576
When it comes to residency, college residency requirements and tax residency requirements are two completely separate and unrelated things. Colleges will usually have their own set of residency requirements that if a student meets those requirements, that qualifies the student for the in-state tuition rates. But for tax purposes that does not in any way, form or fashion mean the student qualifies as a resident of that state.
Besides, if an undergraduate is claiming a state different from his parents has their "tax home", then when it comes to the education deductions and credits, everybody (parents and student) will lose out big time.