How Snowbirds Can Be Taxed as Florida Residents | Kiplinger

picture of a man and woman in a hammock on a beachSkip advert If you ‘re a fieldfare in Florida, I bet you chuckle with delight whenever you watch the national weather prognosis these days. While your friends up north are brushing snow off their cars, you ‘re driving with the top down. While they ‘re slipping and sliding on frigid sidewalks, you ‘re taking long walks on the beach. Yep, you ‘re credibly reasonably felicitous mighty now with your decision to head south for the winter and leave the cold behind. But, before you get excessively excited, there ‘s one thing you may not have escaped by moving to the Sunshine State for the winter – high income taxes in your northerly home. During the winter months, you credibly hear a lot of talk from permanent Floridians about the tax benefits of being a full-fledged Florida resident. After all, Florida is one of only nine states without an income tax. so, if your summer home is in a high-tax state up north — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin and the like — you can potentially save thousands of dollars each year if you can satisfy the Florida residency requirements.

But you ca n’t just say “ I ‘m a Florida resident ” and have the income tax circular from your summer submit magically vanish. You need to show that Florida is your primary and permanent home — and it’s your actions, not your words, that count the most. That means cutting as many ties to your warm-weather home as potential and putting down roots in Florida. But no matter how rooted in Florida you become, do n’t be surprised if your summer country hush wants you to pay taxes as a nonmigratory on all your income ( alternatively of paying tax alone on in-state income as a nonresident ). The tax agencies in many high-tax northern states have well-earned reputations for fighting wealthier snowbirds who abruptly claim to be Florida residents. so, if you ‘re going to make that claim, be certain you can back it up. Here are a few things you can do to show that you are, in fact, a Florida resident if your warm-weather state of matter challenges your residency status .Skip advert

Spend Most of Your Time in Florida

picture of elderly couple sitting near a beachSkip advert The majority of states have what ‘s called a 183-day rule, which basically means the express will tax you as a house physician if you own a home there and spend at least 183 days during the class ( basically, six months ) in the state. ( Some states require more in-state days to be considered a resident. ) The days do n’t have to be straight, and even part of a day can count as a full day. obviously, if you spend more than half your time in Florida, you won’t reach the 183-day threshold in the state where you spend your summers. If you ca n’t spend that much time in Florida, then take a vacation, visit family or friends, or otherwise spend time in some other localization — anything to avoid spending 183 days or more in your high-tax summer state. It ‘s besides a good theme to keep a record of where you are each day of the year, fair in case the tax representation from your northerly state picks you for a residency audit. Keeping receipts from the time you spent in Florida will also help if you ‘re audited. For example, if you had dinner at a Florida restaurant, a receipt for the meal will help prove that you were in Florida on that particular day .Skip advert

Obtain a Florida Driver ‘s license

picture of drivers license application formSkip advert Getting a Florida driver’s license is a must if you want to satisfy the Florida residency requirements. In fact, you should do this right away, since you ‘ll need the license to vote, apply for property tax breaks, and do early things in Florida that will help you establish residency in the state. New residents must apply for a Florida driver ‘s license in person at any local anesthetic office extend driver licenses services ( snap here to find the nearest function ). The tip for an initial Florida Class E license is $ 48 ( unless you ‘re a veteran, the local anesthetic tax collector may besides tack on an extra $ 6.25 service fee ). You ‘ll besides need to submit specific documents to obtain a REAL-ID compliant driver ‘s license ( the list of ask documents for U.S. citizens can be found on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ‘ web site ) .Skip advert

Register and Insure Your Vehicles in Florida

Senior couple driving on Florida beachSkip advert When you ‘re getting your driver ‘s license, make sure you register your car or truck in Florida, besides. If you own an RV or boat, cash register it in Florida vitamin a well. This is far evidence that you consider Florida your permanent dwelling. You’ll have to pay a registration fee. The amount is based on the character and/or weight of the fomite. A list of the assorted motor fomite registration fees can be found on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ‘ web site. And do n’t forget to call your car indemnity carrier and have your vehicles covered in the Sunshine State .Skip advert

vote in Florida

Vote Here sign in FloridaSkip advert Where you ‘re registered to vote says a lot about the place you see as your permanent home. so, to be seen as a real Florida resident, make sure you register to vote (and actually vote) in Florida. You can register to vote in Florida by completing a newspaper lotion and delivering it in person or by mail to the Division of Elections, any supervisor of an elections ‘ office, an office that issues driver ‘s licenses, or a voter registration means ( for example, public aid office, center for freelancer exist, office serving persons with disabilities, public library, or armed forces recruitment office ). You can besides register on-line at You ‘ll need a Florida driver ‘s license ( or ID menu ) and the death four digits of your Social Security number to complete the on-line registration .Skip advert

Buy or Rent a Bigger Home in Florida

Senior couple buying a home in FloridaSkip advert Let ‘s face it…it does n’t truly look like you intend to make Florida your permanent wave home if you own a giant house up north but only rent a bantam apartment in Florida. That ‘s why New York, for exercise, considers the size of each family a snow bunting owns or rents to be an important factor in determining residency. thus, if potential, get a Florida home that ‘s at least roughly the lapp size as your northern home — although it’s better if your home in Florida is larger. If your summer home is in New York, at least the state will consider base size in the context of the geographic area in which each residence is located. For exercise, while a 3,000 square foot apartment in Manhattan may seem cramped when compared to a palatial home in Florida, New York tax auditors may however see the two homes as relatively equal because the apartment is broad by New York City standards .Skip advert

Enroll Your Children in Florida Schools

School bus in FloridaSkip advert If you have school-aged children, enroll them in a Florida school. Why ? Because the quality of the local anesthetic schools is normally an authoritative factor for parents deciding where to live. This is true whether the schools are public or private. then, for example, if your children attend a board school improving north and rarely visit your Florida residence, a tax hearer from your warm-weather submit could point to this as evidence that you do n’t truly consider Florida to be your primary and permanent family .Skip advert

Keep Important Personal Items and Documents in Florida

picture of two elderly men looking at a coin collectionSkip advert tax auditors know that most people keep respect personal possessions in their primary home. then, bring your most treasured items down to Florida for safekeeping to show that you consider the department of state to be your primary and permanent wave home. This includes all things that are near and dear to your heart, including photograph albums, wedding dresses, family heirlooms, emboss or mint collections, works of art, rare books, and any early detail that has sentimental value. Pets fall into this category, excessively. then, make indisputable you bring Fido down to Florida with you ! important documents and records should besides be kept in Florida. This includes mortgage documents, insurance policies, wills, passports, Social Security cards and the like. Renting a safe deposit box in Florida to hold these items is a good idea, excessively .Skip advert

Update Your Estate plan

Senior couple signing papers and high-fivingSkip advert There are at least two good reasons why you should consider updating your will and other estate planning documents with Florida information. First, listing your Florida address as your primary residency, including Florida property, and indicating that your estate of the realm will be administered under Florida law will help you establish Florida residency. Again, it shows that you ‘re treating Florida as your permanent wave home. second, Florida doesn’t impose a state-level estate or inheritance tax. A numeral of northern states — Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, to name a few — will tax your estate or heirs if you die as one of their residents. If you ‘re declared a resident of Florida, however, those taxes from other states can be avoided. Your family will thank you for it once you pass away .Skip advert

visit Doctors, Lawyers and CPAs in Florida

Medical personnel in FloridaSkip advert It can be unvoiced leaving a syndicate doctor astir north that you ‘ve been seeing for decades and finding a new doctor down in Florida. But you need to do just that if you want to convince a tax hearer that you ‘ve in truth settled down in Florida. The same goes for the dentists, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals you use in your summer state  — you should replace them with fresh people in Florida. It ‘s credibly o to see a specialist once in a while outside Florida, but your unconstipated doctor ( or other professional ) should be in the Sunshine State. If you want to go to the extra mile, start seeing a barber or hair hairdresser in Florida, besides .Skip advert

Do Your bank in Florida

Senior banking at ATM in FloridaSkip advert evening in today ‘s populace where on-line bank is popular, tax auditors know that most people park their money in a savings bank near their home. then, if you ‘re claiming to be a Florida resident, you should move your money to a Florida bank. It can be a national bank — like Bank of America — but there should be a branch close to your Florida home where you can do your bank in person ( including renting a safe sediment box ). You ‘ll besides want to make sure all bank statements are sent to your Florida address. This advice extends to all your financial activities. Start working with Florida-based brokers, fiscal planners, indemnity agents and the like. And, again, make sure all statements, payments and notices are sent to your home in Florida, including citation calling card statements. If you ‘re retired, have your Social Security checks or retirement plan distributions mailed to Florida or deposited into a Florida bank .Skip advert

Pay Bills in Florida

Electric meter on home in FloridaSkip advert While you ‘re making arrangements to have your citation batting order statements sent to your Florida address, do the same for all your other bills. Do it for your electric, telephone, cable, gasoline, urine and other utility bills — even if they ‘re for your warm-weather base. Of course, make sure you pay them all on time no matter where you happen to be living when they ‘re due. Most bills can be paid online these days, so you should still be able to take wish of them even if you ‘re up north when the bills arrive in Florida .Skip advert

Tell People You ‘re a Florida house physician

picture of elderly man with a megaphoneSkip advert Yeah, we told you in the introduction that you ca n’t just say “ I ‘m a Florida nonmigratory ” to change your residency for express tax purposes. And that ‘s true — you ca n’t good declare that you ‘re a Florida resident. But even if you do all the other things we ‘re recommending, you’ll never convince a tax auditor from up north that you’re a Florida resident if you don’t present yourself as a Florida resident to the rest of the world. so, if you meet person fresh, tell them you ‘re from Florida. If you ‘re filling out a imprint that asks for your address, use your Florida address. And update your Facebook page therefore that your Florida city or township is listed as your current home plate. Auditors will look for any reading that you do n’t in truth think of Florida as your primary and permanent wave home — do n’t give them any ammunition. Tell the State of Florida that you ‘re a house physician, excessively. File a “Declaration of Domicile” with the clerk of circuit court in the Florida county where you live. ( “ Domicile ” is a legal term that by and large means the place that you intend to be your primary and permanent family. ) There is n’t a standard, state-wide phase that you can use. alternatively, each county will have its own adaptation — as an example, snap here for the Broward County shape .Skip advert

Socialize in Florida

Senior friends socialize in FloridaSkip advert To show that your life is now based in Florida ( i.e., that you ‘re a real Florida resident ), join clubs, take up hobbies, volunteer and meet new people in the state. Tax auditors are going to question your Florida-resident credentials if you ‘re constantly heading back up north to socialize. You can keep your northerly friends, but make newfangled ones in Florida, excessively. ( Invite your Yankee friends down to Florida for a week of winter sunday and sand…they ‘ll love you for it ! ) If you ‘re already a member of a national constitution like the Lions Club or VFW, change the address on file to your Florida address and serve meetings in Florida. If you ‘re a religious person, get involved with a church, synagogue or other house of worship in Florida ampere well. Join a gymnasium in the Sunshine State, besides. The more you socialize in Florida – and maintain ties to social organizations in the state – the easier it will be to demonstrate a committedness to your modern southern home .Skip advert

pay up Taxes as a Florida resident

Florida tax manualSkip advert certain, there ‘s no state of matter income tax in Florida, but that does n’t mean Florida residents do n’t pay other taxes. For example, you still have to pay union income taxes as a Florida resident. so, when filing your following federal 1040, make sure you list your Florida address as your home address. You should besides change your address on file with the IRS by submitting Form 8822. As for Florida taxes, make certain you pay your local real estate taxes on time and in full. If you own a business, are freelance, or rent out property in Florida, you might besides owe personal property taxes. If you ‘re not paying these taxes as required, or any other Florida taxes levied on residents, your standing as a true Florida nonmigratory will be diminished in the eyes of the law .Skip advert

Apply for a Florida Homestead Property Tax exemption

Florida homeSkip advert In addition to paying taxes in Florida, take advantage of the state ‘s tax breaks for residents. For exercise, if you own a home in Florida, apply for the country ‘s homestead property tax exemption. not only could your home ‘s taxable respect be reduced by equally much as $ 50,000, but it ‘s foster evidence of your status as a Florida house physician. That’s a win-win! To apply, submit Form DR-501 and all want documentation to the property appraiser in the Florida county where the place is located. You can besides use the human body to apply for property tax breaks available to disabled or blind persons, elder citizens, widow ( emergency room ) south, veterans, and first responders. If a similar tax break is available in your northerly state, do n’t claim it if it ‘s only available to residents. If you do, you ‘re telling your summer state that you ‘re a resident there, not in Florida .Skip advert

sour in Florida

picture of elderly man working in a storeSkip advert If you work at home or in multiple locations, make certain your employer lists your Florida address as your home of record. Paychecks and W-2 forms should be sent to Florida, and all your benefits should be based in the state. If you ‘re an independent contractor, all invoices and other parallelism should include your Florida address. Payments and 1099 forms should be sent to Florida, besides. If you ‘re a doctor, lawyer or early professional, get licensed to practice to Florida .Skip advert

Move Your clientele to Florida

picture of businessman in a suit jacket working on a beachSkip advert

If you own a business in your summer state, moving it to Florida will surely help your case if your condition as a Florida house physician is challenged. If moving your northerly business to Florida is n’t potential, running it from Florida might be an option. however, commercial enterprise owners in Florida who are profoundly immersed in their company ‘s operations up north can have a hard clock time establishing residency in Florida. even if you ‘re running your business from a Miami Beach cabana, tax auditors in your summer state will see substantial involvement in the management of a business in their state as evidence of residency in that state. It will be weighed along with all other factors, but this type of evidence can persuade a woo that you ‘re not very a Florida nonmigratory. The degree of your engagement in the clientele ‘ daily operations will be looked at closely. You do n’t necessarily have to sell the commercial enterprise or completely relinquish your management role, but taking more of a “ hands-off ” approach will support your claim for Florida residency .

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Category : Finance

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