TaxDay helps frequent travelers and multi-state home owners track their travel between different states (and now includes New York City tracking!) using the GPS feature in your mobile device and the specific tax residency rules of all 50 States embedded within the app. Also, when you travel outside the U.S., TaxDay will record that travel as well, indicating the specific countries traveled.
To get started, TaxDay needs to know:
- Your Home Tax Jurisdiction that you declare for tax purposes (primary residence or domicile)q
- Each of the states where you might maintain a home (“abode”);
- The place(s) you designate to be your primary “work jurisdiction.”
TaxDay will use this information to help keep track of your daily travel and how that might trigger potential residency thresholds in each state.
You have the ability to edit any travel record once it’s saved, or manually create a new travel record (e.g., if you leave your phone at home). However, any travel records modified or manually created by the user will be marked as “manually modified” so as to distinguish (and preserve) the authenticity of any app-generated travel records in the event of a subsequent tax audit.
Notifications (in “Settings” menu)
You can have TaxDay send you notifications to alert you to several things as you travel:
- Pending Record Notification – TaxDay can notify you when you enter a new tax jurisdiction. Upon receiving this Pending Record notification, you will need to indicate the nature of your visit (by selecting a “Travel Category” from the pull down menu), and then “Save” that record.You will also be able to attach receipts to document your presence in that jurisdiction. Once the new record is saved, it will appear in your Travel Records
Summary. As you continue to travel in that new jurisdiction, TaxDay will automatically update your travel record for the duration of your time there.
- Pending Travel Record Reminder – After you enter a new tax jurisdiction, you can receive a reminder to select a Travel Category” and then save that new
record for entry into your Travel Records.
- Threshold Notification Days – You can also set TaxDay to notify you when you approach a specific residency threshold for a given State. TaxDay will use the tax rules for that jurisdiction to calculate how your travel might trigger “Potential Residency” for that State
Using TaxDay to track your travel
By selecting any specific State from the Home Screen, you can see an Overview of all your travel for that State, including a monthly calendar showing travels days in that state, Tax Days Used, the residency Threshold Days, and Tax Days Remaining.
Travel Records – From the Home Screen, you can view a dashboard summary of your travel for all jurisdictions where you traveled. The Travel Records tab shows a chronological list of all your travel across all jurisdictions. Select an entry and you can see the details (actual day and time recorded) for that trip, along with any items added as an attachment as proof of travel.
Receipts – TaxDay will also allow you to attach receipts to any Travel Record for a jurisdiction. You can attach more than one item, including photos of receipts and boarding passes, copies of travel itineraries, or any other documents needed to validate your presence in that jurisdiction.
Travel Categories – Since most States vary as to what constitutes a duty day, or “Tax Day,” TaxDay allows you to designate the purpose of your visit to help determine if your travel might cross a threshold and be counted towards your status as a full-time (or
For example, some States will not count towards their taxable threshold any travelwhere you are simply passing through, or transiting, to another jurisdiction (e.g., changing planes at an airport, or driving or taking Amtrak to a distant destination). However, other States do not specify any such exclusion, such that any time spent in that State counts toward the residency threshold. Still, some States will not count vacation time or a temporary work assignment as a taxable work day.
TaxDay allows you to designate the purpose of your trip to help provide a more accurate count of your taxable days in any jurisdiction. Here are the categories that TaxDay allows you to select when recording your travel. You can attach receipts to substantiate the categories selected, and also have the ability to edit them at a later date:
Categories & Their Descriptions:
Business Trip: For regular business trips which are treated as taxable.
Temporary Assignment: Can be used to designate a short trip where the assignment has a clear beginning and end date.
Transitory Visit: For trips passing through a jurisdiction on the way to a final destination.
Vacation Trip: For leisure visits where no business is being conducted.
Medical Trip: For trips with a medical, health or recuperative purpose usually involving an overnight stay or in-patient care.
Personal Trip: For trips where there is a clear personal intent involving no business purpose.
Charitable Purposes: For trips where the primary purpose is to support a charitable event.
Other Tax Day: Non-specific visit where the designation as a taxable day is clear.
Other Non-Tax Day: Non-specific visit where the user wants to clearly note it as being a non-taxable day.
Tax Rules 1 – TaxDay contains a brief summary of the residency tax rules for all 50States. You can click on the “Tax Rules” tab for any jurisdiction you’ve traveled to and view how that state defines tax residency (threshold days), whether having an abode there might matter, and how a “tax day” is defined.
Non-U.S. Residents – Tracking U.S. Physical Presence Days. For those non-U.S. residents (and non-resident aliens) who need to keep track of their U.S. Physical Presence Days, TaxDay now tracks those days using the 3-year formula and displays it in the Home screen. You can select “Other Country” as your primary residence to trigger the calculation.
You can manually enter the number of physical presence days for the prior two years, plus any physical presence days for the current year prior to enrolling in TaxDay, and TaxDay will help keep track of the U.S. day threshold following the current rules. For current users, just go to Settings, then Home Tax Jurisdiction, then select “Other Country” to indicate you are not tracking as a U.S. Resident. You’ll then be able to manually enter the prior and current years’ U.S. physical presence days to trigger the 3-year calculation.
Some important facts about location tracking
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding how TaxDay handles Location Tracking:
In order to preserve battery use, TaxDay tracks location in the background using the “Location Tracking” feature inherent in the iPhone. So, how does that work? Your phone sends out location pings periodically, and once received, the phone uses an internal “reverse geocoding” program to determine your location. TaxDay uses this same information to determine which State you’re located in, and then applies its tax residency rules to determine how to treat it.
1 This information is to be used for informational purposes only, are not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors concerning your particular situation.
Special Note While Flying
If your phone is turned off or in Airplane Mode, it’s not able to send or receive a GPS ping and return a location setting. To make sure you don’t miss any important location pings, it’s important to make sure to keep TaxDay open in the background, or to restore your phone from Airplane Mode, to be able to send and receive these pings and enable the reverse geocoding process.
If your phone has been in Airplane Mode or turned off, it’s important that it be able to recognize your new location (“when I last got I ping, I was in New York, so now where am I?”) So, if TaxDay hasn’t generated a new Pending Record Notification after changing jurisdictions (e.g., after arriving in a new city), it needs to make sure that your phone recalibrates where you are.
So, after being in Airplane Mode (or turned off), we suggest that you open your Maps app (Apple, Google, Uber, Lyft or any other location tracking app). This will trigger a GPS ping by recalibrating your phone. TaxDay should generate a new Pending Record notification once it receives this new ping.
Finally, since Wi-Fi shuts down upon landing, if you were using WiFi while flying and, if upon landing, you’re not able to update your location on your Map app (which then triggers a new location ping for TaxDay, try shutting off Wifi and using your cellular data; sometimes the iPhone won’t update when it’s still trying to connect to WiFi.
If for some reason, the timing of generating a new ping is critical and your phone misses that opportunity (e.g., not turning on your phone until after a midnight flight arrival!), you can always manually edit that record to record the actual time, and further document your location by making a copy/screenshot of a boarding pass or flight arrival confirmation, and attach it to that travel record (along with any other receipts) for future validation.
Q: Recently my trips have not been tracked, what’s wrong?
A: There could be several reasons TaxDay is not tracking your travel. Sometimes a recent software update to your mobile device could reset the location tracking setting.
Try these steps:
- From the TaxDay menu, go to Settings, make sure the Location Tracking button is toggled to the right.
- In the iPhone Settings menu, in the Privacy option, check under Location Services and make sure the location tracking for TaxDay is turned on.
- Try resetting your iPhone and opening TaxDay again and check the above settings.
- Check the “Pending Records” menu option in TaxDay. If there are travel records listed (representing recent jurisdictions you’ve traveled to), you will need to open each one, select a Travel Category from the pull-down menu, add any descriptions or attach any travel receipts, and then Save that record. It will then appear in your list of Travel Records.
Q: I updated to a new iPhone and it’s not picking up my travel.
A: Because TaxDay uses the unique digital signature on your iPhone for additional security measures, you have a few additional steps to ensure the TaxDay app and your data is transferred to your new device.
To transfer TaxDay to a new phone, follow these simple steps:
- After setting up your new iPhone (from a restored version of your old phone), delete the TaxDay app on your new iPhone that was loaded from your
- NOTE: even though you’ll receive a message that your data will be deleted, rest assured that all of your travel records are backed up securely in your TaxDay cloud account, and nothing will be lost!
- Install a new copy of TaxDay from the App Store onto your new iPhone.
- Log into the new TaxDay app on your new iPhone, using your same user name and password. This will restore all of your travel records, and also register your new device as the primary travel-tracking device. If it asks if you’d like to make this your primary tracking device, select ‘Yes.’
- Finally, confirm that you’ve enabled ‘Location Tracking’ for this new device in the app’s ‘Settings’ menu, and also check your iPhone’s ‘Settings’ and “Privacy” “Location Services” menu, if necessary.
You should now have all of your previous travel records installed on your new phone,and you’re ready to continue tracking your interstate travel as before! If not, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
TaxDay was working before but now it’s not tracking my recent travel?
In the menu bar, go to “Setting” > “Account Setting” and make sure that the “Log Jurisdiction Changes Using GPS” tab is turned on (tab pushed to the right). If you are using more than one mobile device to track your travel, make sure the device in question has the above setting turned on. (Also see instructions in the Troubleshooting FAQs)
I traveled in and out of the same state during the day; how does that count against my residency threshold count?
Since TaxDay contains the residency rules for each State, it is able to calculate your travel within a 24-hour period and determine if you have triggered more than one taxable day based on multiple visits within a short period of time.
What happens when I travel internationally?
TaxDay will now track any travel outside of the U.S., and it will capture the specific Country name and time spent there and record it on the Home Screen. You will be able to enter the details of the trip as an individual Travel Record and attach receipts and other documents to substantiate that travel, same as for US Travel.
How do I attach receipts to my Travel Record?
For any specific trip, when recording the Travel Category, you can also select the “Add Attachment” feature which will provide TaxDay access to your photos. From there you can attach copies of receipts and other travel records to substantiate your visit. For example, if flying and using a digital boarding pass in your iPhone Wallet, you can take a screen shot or photo (of both sides!) of your boarding pass, and attach it to your Travel Record.
Why do I need to select a Travel Category?
Since most States vary as to what constitutes a duty day, or “Tax Day,” TaxDay allows you to designate the purpose of your visit to help determine if your travel might be counted towards your full time or statutory residency threshold. As a result, TaxDay allows you to designate the purpose of your trip to help provide a more accurate count of your taxable days in any jurisdiction.
What are the Travel Categories and what do they mean?
TaxDay allows you to select the following Travel Categories when recording your travel:
- Business Trip – For regular business trips which are generally treated as taxable.
- Temporary Assignment – Can be used to designate a short trip where the assignment has a clear beginning and end date.
- Transitory Visit – For trips passing through a jurisdiction on the way to a final destination.
- Vacation Trip – For leisure visits where no business is being conducted.
- Medical Trip – For trips with a medical, health or recuperative purpose.
- Personal Trip – For trips where there is a clear personal intent involving no business purpose.
- Charitable Purposes – For trips where the business purpose is to support a charitable event.
- Other Tax Day – Non-specific visit where the designation as a taxable day is clear.
- Other Non-Tax Day – Non-specific visit where the user wants to clearly note it as being a non-taxable day.
You can attach receipts to substantiate the categories selected above, and also have the ability to edit them at a later date.
On the individual State page, why is there a difference between the days shown in the “Tax Summary” and the days shown in the “Overview”?
There may be trips where you might visit the same State more than once during the day. In that instance, TaxDay will record those as multiple Travel Records, and you may use separate Travel Categories to record them, e.g., you drive to New York City from Connecticut in the morning for a medical visit (which NY State excludes as a taxable day), then return later in the evening for a 2-day business conference. While the ultimate taxable treatment may require consultation with your tax advisor, TaxDay will record them as separate visits in the Overview, and treat it as one taxable visit in the Tax Summary.
How can I find out what the tax rules are for any given State?
Solely for informational purposes, for each State that you record travel, TaxDay contains a brief synopsis of how that State might define a taxable day, and what their residency threshold might be. You should always consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors concerning your particular situation, especially since these rules are subject to change without notice.
As a New York State resident, I live outside New York City but occasionally spend time there on work assignments; can TaxDay help me keep track of my time in NYC?
TaxDay has been updated to provide separate travel tracking for the five boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island). So, when traveling into NY City first, a new, specific Pending Record will be created (along with a matching New York State Travel Record). If travel begins outside of NY City (e.g., commuting from Connecticut into NY City), first a Pending Record will be generated for NY State; once you then enter NY City, a new Pending Record will also be generated (and the NY State record will be updated accordingly).
Does TaxDay provide any other city-specific tracking?
While the TaxDay iOS version for iPhones provides tracking just for New York City, the Android version also provides city tracking for several cities and counties in certain states. They are:
Cleveland – Cuyahoga County
Columbus – Franklin County
Cincinnati – Hamilton County
Dayton – Montgomery County
Toledo – Lucas County
Akron – Summit County
Philadelphia – Philadelphia County
Pittsburgh – Alleghany County
Harrisburg – Dauphin County
Allentown – Lehigh County
Erie – Erie County
Reading – Berks County
Lancaster – Lancaster County
Detroit – Wayne County
Grand Rapids – Kent County
Ann Arbor – Washtenaw County
Lansing – Ingham County