I know how hard it is to let go, but it is really his problem, not yours. It is enough to be thankful for that our kids are of independent means. Any advice you can get them to take is gravy.
Disclaimer: I am not qualified to give tax advice. This response is just informal parent-to-parent and is neither qualified advice nor am I responding in any capacity for my employer.
That said, I think that is pretty much how it works with state taxes. It isn't impossible to change residency, but it is very difficult. If military members paid taxes (and voted) where they were stationed, it would be a really unfair advantage to states with large military bases. And, on the really bright side, I doubt he has to pay taxes to the country where he is stationed. The key thing that should be done now, early in the year, is for him to adjust his withholding. In most cases, military taxes are pretty straightforward and the withholding tables should be about right. If he is owing a lot he should withhold more, and if he is getting big refunds he should withhold less. If he is owing a bunch to NYS, he may not have (correctly) filed the state withholding allowance. I am sure there is a way to do it on MyPay, probably the same place they fill out or update the W-4 info. I guess it is possible that, to a young person, it might seem that having to withhold to pay taxes later is somehow unfair, and that isn't wrong, but we all have to do it.
I just wanted to share that I concur with Wears Large Hats. It is hard to let our kids deal with some of these issues, and if they are overseas, it seems even more difficult. Even sailors stationed here in the US have to pay taxes to their state of residency, whether or not that is where they are currently living. There are ways to change your state of residency but I am not sure what all that would entail for your son. Taxes unfortunately are a part of life.
You ask if anyone has gotten around this problem. I am assuming you mean not having to pay state taxes while serving oversees? I as well am not a tax person, all I can share is my experience from living around different people from various different military branches, mostly families who are career military. They establish which state is the best option for them to have their cars tagged in and they use those as their residency, I think. Some states don't have any state taxes at all. Some states offer their enlisted military under a certain rank the option of not being required to pay state taxes. The issue really has to do with the laws of your state and might be one to ask your legislators.
Bottom line - your son has to pay his taxes and if his withholdings are not high enough, he needs to adjust them. Again speaking from personal experience only, some states may charge penalty fees if you are not withholding enough state taxes. If you think you need to help him with this problem, then you might want to check with a tax advisor or someone more financially qualified.
You might check with some of your other relatives in other states and see if they know what their laws are for military.
It is very frustrating! We send our kids off to serve our country and we don't get to see them because they are stationed far away, but something like this makes us feel like they are being stabbed in the back. I could get into my personal political opinions about some of this but I don't find that helps much and we do our best to refrain on this site. But in my opinion that is also part of what we deal with in different states and how they handle taxing their residents, including their military.
Does anybody know if there are tax preparation services in A schools? My daughter expects to graduate boot camp 3/18/21. I hope to send her tax documents as soon as she gets me an address
That should give her about 2 weeks to get them done if such services are available.
Navyat34 - I don't know what tax services are available at various A schools, but you might check with a local tax preparer. For my son's first year, we were able to have someone local do my son's taxes. She was doing ours and she gave us a "military" discount. I had my son's forms and the ones that he had, I think she just had to ask him the answers to the questions for each of the boxes that she needed.
If your daughter can't find someone to do her taxes there are some online options. My husband and children have used various ones of them. The only concern about your daughter doing her taxes at A school is whether or not she will have her own computer to be able to file them on and then save the forms that she needs onto her own computer.
Thanks for the info. Probably someone in town specializes in military people. She’s due to graduate a week from today. Fingers crossed all will go well till then.
Navyat34 - All the best to your SR!!
Just like every US resident see here, if you're living abroad and fail to file your US or state taxes, you can receive a penalty for not filing taxes, even if you do not owe taxes. The failure to file penalty could be thousands of dollars, being disqualified from benefits that will reduce your tax obligation, or worse.