Here is my situation:
- Lost my job (NY based) in Dec 2019
- Went on NY unemployment starting Jan 2020 and collected until Dec. In other words, I had no earned income from a W-2 in 2020.
- Resided (rented) in NJ until April 2020. Bought a primary residence and moved to PA in April 2020.
I'm not sure which states I need to or should file in. Any guidance would be helpful!
Because your unemployment was from New York, you must file a New York nonresident tax return to report the income. You do not have to file a Pennsylvania or New Jersey return because unemployment benefits are not taxable by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and local governments or the state of New Jersey.
Unemployment compensation that is part of your federal adjusted gross income and derived or resulting from employment in New York State is taxable to a nonresident.
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Mary, thanks so much for the quick and helpful response.
One follow up question: Is there any benefit to filing in PA since I took out a mortgage for my primary residence (in PA) and paid mortgage interest in 2020? Or any other deductions/credits related to the property?
You may qualify for a property tax/rent rebate. The PA-1000 is separate from the income tax form and can be filed online.
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.
I forgot to mention. Aside from unemployment benefits, I did receive some income from dividends and interest in 2020. Do these need to be reported to both NJ and PA since I resided in both during 2020?
Since you lived in both NJ and PA in 2020, you would normally have to file part-year returns in both states, if you have enough income to meet the filing requirements.
PA - "Every resident, part-year resident or nonresident individual must file a Pennsylvania Income Tax Return (PA-40) when he or she realizes income generating $1 or more in tax, even if no tax is due." PA Filing Requirements You may have to go through the PA return to see if your income is enough to generate that $1 or more in tax. If it doesn't, then don't file the return.
NJ - You have to file a return if your income was more than $10,000 (single) or $20,000 (if married filing jointly) Instructions for NJ-1040