Defining Residence for Income Tax Purposes: Domicile as Gap-Filler, Citizenship as Proxy and Gap-Filler

In this paper, I place the United States’ adherence to citizenship-based taxation in the context of the states’ tax systems. Forty-one states impose general income taxes on the worldwide incomes of their respective residents. These state tax systems are important repositories of experience that confirm the administrative benefits of citizenship-based taxation. Domicile today plays an important role in state tax systems as a gap-filler when more objective statutory residence laws fail to assign any state of residence to the taxpayer. Citizenship is an administrable proxy for domicile and serves a similar gap-filling role in the taxation of individuals whose income and activities straddle national boundaries.