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Alright tax buffs... Travel RN, but military spouse with designated residency


Hi ya'll! I am planning to travel for one year while my husband is overseas unaccompanied.

The military had us choose a designated place of residency for myself, Seattle, WA, (which has been my home state since we've been married) while he is gone for one year. Listing my in-laws as my address until I find a place to live.

I have been a legal resident (drivers license/voting/taxes/auto) of Washington for 30 years, even though I haven't lived there in 5 years.

I have decided to travel for one year (fingers crossed) while he is gone so that I can visit him for extended periods of time, try new places out, and just have some fun before we settle down, buy a home, yada yada.

But how will this 'designated' residency with the military, affect tax homes with travel nursing. The designated residency is strict, because you are making living allowances based on your address, but you cannot change it once it is chosen. It's like a legally binding document. We need this designated residency to have all of his items, including himself, shipped to Seattle, where we plan to settle.

I don't know where I will be traveling, in or out of state. And even so, I could travel to different Washington cities, and those cost of living allowances for the military vary from Seattle, to the desert. I don't want to get myself in a bind financially and legally. So how does this affect tax homes?

I hope this makes sense. I honestly am confusing myself.....

This really is the province of a tax professional such as Traveltax. Most including Traveltax should give you a free phone consult, but I think more details are needed here. Is the military giving you a housing stipend, good for WA only? Are you required to have a physical address that you theoretically can reside at? Must this the same address as the place you say you are finding a place to live?

If you are not actually residing at this address, I think you would be itinerant without a tax home for the purposes of agency compensation (all taxable in this case). Obviously, if you are living at this address and working locally, you are not traveling away from your tax home and all your compensation including the agency supplied housing stipend should be taxed.

Try to get it right with professional advice, this could be complicated depending on what you actually do and receive. I'm not advising you to break any laws, but for only one year, you could just ignore all the noise and do whatever. I say that in part because you may not be able to get a clear answer that will still hold if you are actually audited later long after these decisions have be made and the assignments over.