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Flat answer/best guess: As long as you receive the income after leaving California, California will not tax the proceeds. It does not matter that you received the options while here; all that matters is when you get the cash.

This is only a guess; I got a quick answer when I emailed another question to the California tax authorities. says "In addition to finding answers on our website, you can email us with your non-confidential income tax questions." and gives a form to fill out at It also says: "Call the Franchise Tax Board's automated toll-free telephone service at 1-800-338-0505 or 1-916-845-6600 24 hours a day, seven days a week"

My understanding is that California taxes whatever income you make while in California and any other income it can say comes from California sources. says

Question: I lived in California for part of the year. Do I have to file a return?

Answer: California taxes all income you received while a California resident, and the income you received from California sources while you were a nonresident. says

Question: I do not live in California. Why do I have to file a return?

Answer: If you have income from California sources, such as, rental income, income from the sale of property, or partnership income in 1999 and you are single with a total income from all sources of $10,899 or more; married with joint income from all sources of $21,798 or more, you are required to file a Form 540NR with California.

I have a pension from a job I held in California. It used to be that California claimed the right to tax such pensions even if the recipient had left the state, but federal law put a stop to that not too long ago. You might call or email the Franchise Tax Board and ask them your question (or, if you're really cautious, have an impecunious friend call FOR you to avoid alerting them to your situation).

California is aggressive in going after people who only pretend to leave the state, even going so far as to check charge card receipts to show that someone spend most of his time here. I plan to be safe and visit California only briefly.

Chips, planning his COMPLETE relocation

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