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Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

Federal law S. 475, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, allows a military servicemember’s spouse to keep a tax domicile throughout the marriage and keep it while moving from state to state, as long as the spouse moves into a state to be with a servicemember who is in the state on military orders.

For New Jersey Gross Income Tax purposes, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act provides that a spouse of a servicemember may be exempt from New Jersey Gross Income Tax on income from services performed in New Jersey if: (i) the servicemember is present in New Jersey in compliance with military orders; (ii) the spouse is in New Jersey solely to be with the servicemember; and (iii) the spouse maintains domicile in another state.

The new law also applies to a partner in a Civil Union (or spouse in an out-of-state same sex marriage).

Effective Date

The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act is effective for the 2009 income tax year and thereafter. It does not affect taxes imposed or paid for 2008 and earlier.

Refund Information

Qualified servicemember’s spouses who are not domiciled in New Jersey may request a refund of taxes erroneously withheld or paid by filing the New Jersey Nonresident Income Tax Return (NJ-1040NR) with an explanation referencing this federal law.

Refunds for taxable year 2009 may be claimed on and after January 1, 2010.

Taxpayers should place a zero in the wage income category and claim any income tax withholdings paid. Taxpayers filing a paper return also should print in ink “Military Spouse” at the top of the Form and attach a copy of their spousal military identification card.

Military spouses requesting a full refund may be required to provide additional documentation which supports their claim.

If you have additional questions or need assistance filing a refund claim, please call the Division of Taxation’s Customer Service Center at (609) 292-6400.

Claiming the Exemption

Spouses whose wages are exempt from New Jersey Gross Income Tax under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act may claim an exemption from New Jersey Income Tax withholding on Form NJ-165 to be filed with their employers.

Please continue to monitor this site as additional updates and information become available.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 08/20/14

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