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Taxed by CA State After Moving to TX or WA

Navigating Tax Implications of Remote Work and State Residency Changes

The pandemic has significantly shifted work dynamics, leading to an increase in remote work and prompting many to relocate to states with lower or no income tax. However, moving out of high-tax states like California can bring complex tax considerations, especially regarding equity compensation such as RSUs, ESPPs, ISOs, and NSOs.

Understanding California’s Tax Claims on Equity Compensation:

Even after establishing residency in a tax-free state like Washington or Texas, you may still owe taxes to California. This is particularly true if you received equity compensation while being a resident of California.

Case Study: RSU Taxation After Moving Out of California

Consider the following scenario:

Event Date
Became a CA Resident 01/01/2020
Received RSU Grant 04/01/2020
Moved Out of CA 12/01/2020
RSUs Vest 01/01/2021

In this instance, since you were a California resident when the RSUs were granted, a portion of the income from these RSUs is taxable by California. The tax allocation is based on the number of workdays in California between the grant and vest dates relative to the total workdays in this period.

Allocation for Other Equity Compensation Types:

  • ISOs and NSOs: Similar allocation applies, using the exercise date instead of the vesting date.
  • ESPPs: The allocation is calculated based on the period from the beginning of the buying period to the end of the buy period.

Risks of Improper Allocation and Double Taxation:

Improper income allocation can lead to double taxation, especially when moving to states with their own income tax. To avoid this, ensure that your employer correctly allocates your equity compensation on tax documents like W2s and 1099s. If you notice discrepancies, it’s crucial to have corrected documents issued promptly.

Expert Assistance from Dimov Associates:

Navigating these tax intricacies can be challenging. At Dimov Associates, we specialize in addressing the complexities of state tax obligations related to equity compensation during interstate moves. We provide expert guidance to ensure accurate tax reporting and prevent unnecessary taxation.

If you have questions or need assistance with these issues, please contact us directly. Our team is ready to offer tailored solutions to safeguard your finances against the pitfalls of state tax law intricacies.

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