Governor Chris Christie • Lt.Governor Kim Guadagno  
The Official Web Site For The State of New Jersey - Department of Treasury
Global Navigation
FAQs Departments/ Agencies Services A to Z NJ Home Page
Disclaimer


Supporting Our TroopsIncome Tax Filing Requirements -
Nonmilitary Spouses/Civil Union Partners of Military Personnel

Nonmilitary spouses/civil union partners whose domicile is New Jersey are residents for income tax purposes unless they meet the three qualifications for nonresident status. When a nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner who is a resident had income during the year, he or she must file a resident return.

Under the Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (P.L. 111-97), a military servicemember's nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner is allowed to keep a tax domicile while moving from state to state, as long as he or she moves into a state to be with a spouse/civil union partner who is in the state on military orders. Consequently, if a nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner was not domiciled in New Jersey at the time the couple married or entered into a civil union, he or she is not considered a resident of New Jersey if:

  • The principal reason for moving to this State was the transfer of the military spouse/civil union partner; and
  • The nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner maintains a domicile in another state; and
  • The nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner intends to leave New Jersey when the military spouse/civil union partner is transferred or leaves the service.


Under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, a nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner who meets these requirements is not subject to New Jersey gross income tax on income (wages) earned from services performed in New Jersey. However, such nonresident civilian spouse/civil union partner is subject to tax on all other types of income earned from New Jersey sources (e.g., gain from sale of property located in New Jersey or income from a business, trade, or profession carried on in this State).

A spouse/civil union partner whose wages are exempt from New Jersey gross income tax may claim an exemption from New Jersey income tax withholding by filing Form NJ-165, Employee’s Certificate of Nonresidence in New Jersey, with their employer. He or she must notify the employer if conditions for the withholding exemption no longer apply.

If New Jersey income tax was erroneously withheld from your wages or you erroneously made estimated tax payments, you must file a New Jersey nonresident return (Form NJ-1040NR) to obtain a refund. The income section of the New Jersey nonresident return has two columns - Column A, income from everywhere, and Column B, income from New Jersey sources. If you (and your military spouse/civil union partner if filing a joint return) had no income from New Jersey sources other than your own New Jersey wages, complete your nonresident return as follows:

  • Enter in Column A the amount of your gross income from everywhere (if filing a joint return, do not include the military pay of your spouse/civil union partner).
  • Enter zeros on the wages line and on the gross income line in Column B for the amount of income from New Jersey sources.
  • Enter the amount of New Jersey income tax withheld or estimated taxes paid on the appropriate line and complete the "overpayment" and "refund" lines.
  • Enclose a statement of explanation that references the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act along with a copy of your spousal military identification card. If filing a paper return, print “Military Spouse” in ink at the top of the return.

However, a nonresident civilian spouse/civil union partner who lives outside New Jersey is subject to New Jersey gross income tax on wages earned in this State and may not use Form NJ-165 to claim exemption from New Jersey gross income tax withholding on wages earned in this State. The New Jersey wages, as well as any other income from New Jersey sources (e.g., income or gain from sale of property located in New Jersey), must be reported in both Column A and Column B of Form NJ-1040NR.

In general, taxpayers must use the same filing status for New Jersey gross income tax purposes as for Federal income tax purposes, unless they are a civil union couple. A married couple who files a joint Federal income tax return must file a joint New Jersey income tax return. However, an exception exists where one spouse/civil union partner is a New Jersey resident and the other is a nonresident for the entire year. In this case, the resident may file a separate return unless both agree to file jointly as residents. If a joint resident return is filed, their joint income will be taxed as if both were residents.

If you are a resident of New Jersey, you (and your military spouse/civil union partner if he or she is also a resident) must file a resident return (Form NJ-1040) if your income for the entire taxable year from all sources, (including military pay of your spouse/civil union partner if filing a joint return), is more than $20,000 ($10,000 if filing status is single or married/CU partner, filing separate return). If you are a nonresident, you (and your military spouse/civil union partner if she or she is also a nonresident) are required to file a nonresident return (Form NJ-1040NR) if you (or your spouse/civil union partner) have earned income from New Jersey sources other than military pay and your income for the entire taxable year from all sources, not including military pay, is more than $20,000 ($10,000 if filing status is single or married/CU partner, filing separate return).

New Jersey source income does not include income (wages) from services performed in New Jersey by a civilian spouse/civil union partner who qualifies as a nonresident under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. When filing Form NJ-1040NR, the nonmilitary spouse/civil union partner reports New Jersey wage income in Column A (amount of gross income everywhere) but not in Column B (amount from New Jersey sources).

There are no part-year tax returns. Part-year residents must use Form NJ-1040, and part-year nonresidents must use Form NJ-1040NR and indicate the portion of the year covered by each return. See the income tax return instructions for Form NJ-1040 and Form NJ-1040NR, and Tax Topic Bulletin GIT-6, Part-Year Residents, for information on how to complete a part-year return.

For more information on filing status and New Jersey income tax, see Tax Topic Bulletin GIT-4, Filing Status. For more information on military personnel, see Tax Topic Bulletin GIT-7, Military Personnel.


Last Updated: Thursday, 08/21/14



Taxation: Home | Site Index | Site Help | Legislature | Judiciary | Revenue | IRS | Other Tax Links
Treasury: Home | ServicesPeopleBusinesses | Divisions/AgenciesForms
Statewide:
NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs
Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-
This site is maintained by the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.


Reports Accessibility Statement Legal Statement Privacy Notice Contact Us Open Public Records Act Proposed Rules and Amendments Comment or Petition for new Rule Division/Ageny Statutes and Rules Electronic Notification