I was told today while shopping around for a lawyer that it's required to file in whatever state you have lived in for the majority of the past two years. And because we have lived overseas, returning in Feb of last year, we may have to apply the law of the particular country we lived in (Europe), this sounds crazy to me. Now it's true that as of Feb sometime, we'll have lived here for one year and one day, so no problem with that. But doing a quick search it does not seem that this rule applies when having lived overseas. Instead I think it's just necessary to have lived in the US for at least 180 days prior. Does anyone have experience with this?
And how do they check residency? My husband is the one who's been back physically since Feb 2012. He opened a joint account in both our names, but I didn't return in person until a month ago. I read a while ago that for people living overseas wanting to file, it's common to open a bank account if one can't move back yet, and that counts as having property which would make one qualify for the residency requirement even when actually residing elsewhere.
Whoever told you about filing in another country should be disbarred. I think you are good to go now that you can show residency for the 180 days, the account shows intent to be subject to the laws here. Happy filing!
I think there may be two BK issues here. Six months needed to file in the jurisdiction. Two years for use of state exemptions. So I had moved from TX to VA, and been a resident about 18 months when I filed. While the way I read it I should have had the option of using TX instead of VA exemptions, the practice in the VA district where I filed was that I had to use the Federal exemptions.
But for legal residency, some states will say that you retain residency if you plan to return, opening the account helps that. California will assert tax claims based on the fact you were a CA resident before you moved overseas, even if you didn't return to CA.