I graduated in May 2021 from California and my new job is slated to begin on 21st June 2021. It will be remote until September 2021. Can I continue living in California for a few more weeks until the workplace has returned to in-person mode? I want to avoid paying the California state income tax which is why I was planning to start a new lease in Seattle before June 21 2021. Is my understanding correct? Or is it that I do not literally need to be present in Seattle when the job begins? My current lease in California expires in September which is why I wanted to explore the possibility of delaying the move by a few weeks.
That is a discussion to have with your employer. You need to know where the employer needs/wants you to be.
Signing a lease in Seattle does not by itself constitute a change of residency for state income tax purposes. You must actually move to the new location. Until you do, your income will remain subject to CA income taxation.
Here is California's rule regarding change of domicile:
A change of domicile requires all of the following:
• Abandonment of your prior domicile.
• Physically moving to and residing in the new locality.
• Intent to remain in the new locality permanently or indefinitely as demonstrated by your actions.
See page 10 of this CA tax publication: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2020/2020-1031-publication.pdf
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