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In 6 weeks I am going to receive a lump sum payment as a part of a severence agreement - I currently live in a state with income tax - if I move to a state without income tax before that event can I avoid the state tax?
Probably not. You don't specify the states, but generally, states tax people for compensation EARNED there, even by nonresidents. Often there is an exception to that for reciprocal agreements, particularly with residents of surrounding states, and sometimes others.

So you should check your present state's rules, but figure if you earned money there, you'll be taxed on it when you get paid.


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