Whether or not one is required to pay income taxes to the state of Alabama depends partly on whether that person is a legal resident of the state for all or part of the year. Thus, it is important to know the various requirements that establish residency within the state.
General Definition of Alabama Resident
In general, one is a resident of Alabama if one is domiciled in the state. That is, if a person has a permanent home in the state or intends to return to the state after a temporary absence elsewhere, the state of Alabama will consider him a resident. The individual bears the burden of proof to show if they are no longer domiciled in Alabama. Most often, this is done by taking up residence in another state, including obtaining a residence in the new state as well as obtaining a new driver's license.
The general residency requirements apply to foreign immigrants to Alabama as well. In other words, if a foreign citizen establishes a home in Alabama and obtains an Alabama driver's license, she is considered a resident of Alabama, even if she does not intend to ever apply for United States citizenship.
Alabama Residents Living in Foreign Countries
If an Alabama resident leaves the country for employment, but with the intent of eventually returning to the United States, then that person remains a resident of Alabama.
If an Alabama resident is in the military, he is still required to pay Alabama taxes even if stationed elsewhere during the tax year.
Spouses of Military Personnel
If the spouse of an active military member is living in Alabama to be with her spouse who is not a legal resident of Alabama, then that spouse is also not considered a resident of Alabama. This ruling came into effect in 2009 with the passage of the federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.
It is important to note that even nonresidents of Alabama may be required to pay state income taxes if their income is above the allowable prorated exemption. This exemption amount changes yearly.