Living Out of the Country

A Colorado resident reporting U.S. federal taxable income must continue to file Colorado returns as a full-year resident no matter how long he or she is out of the country. Most such individuals are working on a temporary assignment, and plan on returning to Colorado. However, all foreign income that is exempt for federal purposes is also exempt for Colorado purposes.

Individuals who abandon their Colorado domicile and become permanent residents of a foreign country no longer have to file Colorado returns. However, they would have to file a Colorado tax return as a nonresident if they had Colorado-source income (e.g., rental income). Such individuals bear the burden of proving their abandonment of Colorado residency. Continued Colorado residency will be presumed if the individual has not severed all Colorado connections; for example, if the individual still carries a Colorado driver license, votes in Colorado by absentee ballot, and/or still owns a home in Colorado, or returns to Colorado.

Can I use the State's automatic extension to file?

If you were living or traveling abroad on April 15, the deadline for filing your return and paying any taxes owed is June 15. However, if you need more time to file you will automatically have until October 15, to file your state tax return. This extension of time to file only applies to the actual return -- not money owed. If tax is owed, you can avoid any late payment penalties if you pay at least 90 percent of your tax liability by June 15.