I was in the US in 2016 on an F-1 student visa. I started a job after graduating from my PhD in the fall of 2016, and officially graduated in January 2017.
I spent around 200 days in New York State in 2016, so more than half a year. However, I sublet my apartment for 3.5 months in 2016, so that I did not maintain a place of abode for more than 11 months in New York (City). This suggests that to be a tax resident I need to spend more than 184 days AND have a permanent place of abode for at least 11 months, which is not the case for me. https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/file/pit_definitions.htm
My understanding was that I am therefore not a New York Resident, and that I can file a non-resident tax return. However, the NYS Dept of Taxation seems to disagree, and converted my non-resident return into a resident return. This causes me to be, for example, liable for New York City taxes.
1) Is the law really clear that I am a resident for tax purposes despite subletting my apartment for 3.5 months?
2) Is it too late to complain? What is the best way to do it? I sent the NYS Dept of Taxation an online message but received no response.
Many thanks for your insights!