Hatin' on Maine

Pun Son is, for tax purposes, a New Hampshire resident. However, all his employment last year was in Maine, at his college, and across the river in South Berwick. And even if you are a nonresident of Maine, you must (still) pay Maine tax on all income from work performed in Maine.

Poor kid; the WSJ has recently pointed out that Maine has the second-highest combined state and local tax burden. (14.0%, only a bare 0.1% behind number-one Vermont.)

And poor me, since I do his taxes, and now have to deal with the Maine Department of Revenue Services. Turns out it's a major battle to even figure out which freakin' forms to file.

Here is the relevant instruction from the instruction booklet from their Form 1040ME booklet:

IF YOU ARE A NONRESIDENT, YOU MUST FILE FORM 1040ME WITH SCHEDULE NR OR NRH.
Yes: this is all uppercase, bold, with words both italicized and underlined. (It's also in brown type, which I haven't bothered to reproduce.) It's a stylistic mess, in other words, but clear enough: Get Schedule NR and fill it out. (Schedule NRH is for married people, which Pun Son is not.)

But right on the top of Schedule NR:

DO NOT FILE SCHEDULE NR IF: All your income is taxable by Maine …
Son of a … It gets more complicated after that, but not in any way that affects the situation: one form says that Schedule NR must be filed, but Schedule NR itself tells him not to file it. It's all quite clear, and utterly contradictory.

If this were not a PG-13 blog, I'd insert some real colorful language here.

If you notice a dropoff in posting volume here in the near future, it may be because I've been taken in for Maine State Income Tax Evasion. Or my head may have exploded, like one of the Star Trek computers presented with a logical contradiction by Captain Kirk.

Either way, next year Pun Son does his own taxes.


Last Modified 2007-04-15 2:05 PM EST