What to Know about Residency as a Travel Nurse
The appeal of travel nursing lies in the opportunity to seamlessly transition from one assignment and location to another. However, even for those constantly on the move, having a designated home base is crucial. It goes beyond merely having a place to stay between assignments; residency holds significance in various aspects such as tax considerations and eligibility for voting. If you’re launching a travel nursing career that keeps you away from your permanent residence, it’s essential to understand the implications of residency.
Determining Residency as a Travel Nurse
Navigating residency can be complex for travel nurses as it significantly influences your tax obligations and recipients. Therefore, accuracy in determining your residency status is crucial.
Initially, you need to decide whether you prefer a permanent residence for tax purposes or if you’d rather be deemed “itinerant” by the Internal Revenue Service. Being “itinerant” implies being a “resident” of the state where you predominantly work. For most travel nurses, establishing a permanent residence (tax home) is advisable. This not only simplifies your taxes but also ensures eligibility for tax-free travel nursing stipends. If you opt for an itinerant status, consulting with a tax professional becomes essential to comprehend your tax responsibilities.
In essence, surpassing a specific number of days in a state (which varies by state) typically classifies you as a resident. Your residency status can also be influenced by factors like your intent, ties to the state (your tax home), and the duration spent there within a calendar year. Ultimately, it hinges on where you establish a presence.
Securing Residency as a Travel Nurse
Why is establishing residency such a crucial matter for travel nurses? While the idea of maintaining a fixed address might seem challenging or even unnecessary, it holds significant importance for various reasons. Beyond determining your tax obligations, residency plays a pivotal role in tasks ranging from acquiring a driver’s license to participating in local elections. It can also impact practical aspects of daily life, such as obtaining prescriptions or receiving shipped packages.
It’s important to bear in mind, that as a travel nurse, your “home” may be where you spend the least amount of time in a given year. However, during your assignments, it becomes the central location to which you are tethered for essential documentation purposes.
Residency requirements can vary from state to state, but armed with appropriate records like lease agreements and utility bills, you can substantiate your residency and establish a solid home base.
Residency and its Tax Implications
Establishing residency has significant implications for your taxes, as discussed earlier. The primary goal is to streamline the tax process. However, it’s crucial to recognize that each relocation outside your home state introduces unique tax considerations. For instance, explore potential deductions tied to travel and housing costs, including temporary housing allowances and per diems. Keeping yourself well-informed, utilizing available resources, and seeking professional advice can help alleviate stress during tax season.
Maintain Connections to your Central Hub
Even though your main location may vary every 13 weeks with changing assignments, ensure you always have a home base to return to. Residency influences various aspects, from mail delivery and tax filing to voting. Regardless of its location, it’s essential to have a place you can consider home, even if you prefer spending most of your time on assignments, moving from one location to another.
Whether you’re a seasoned travel nurse seeking your next assignment or you’re ready to dive into the dynamic world of travel nursing for the first time, our comprehensive job search portal is your gateway to exciting positions across the country. Connect with us today and take the first step toward fulfilling your next travel nursing adventure!