Under the new Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, signed into law on November 11, 2009, spouses of military service members who relocate from one state to another on military orders do not become residents of the new state for income tax purposes. This means that the military spouse’s wage/salary and self-employment income is not taxable by the new state. This new law will result in big California tax savings for some military families. This makes the income tax treatment of the military spouse similar to that of the service member, who does not acquire residency in the new state because of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This new law is effective January 1, 2009.
Previously, a military spouse would acquire California tax residency when moving to California under the service member’s Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. The military service member would not, so the spouses had different state tax residency and the spouse’s wage/salary and self-employment income was taxed by California.