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Moving to Florida is a dream for many Americans. Good weather year-round, lovely theme parks, and beaches are not the only reasons that attract almost 1000 new residents in Florida every day. Many consider relocating due to Sunshine State’s tax benefits. Florida does not have a state income tax. For New Yorkers residents, the idea of moving to a more tax-friendly state has become increasingly appealing, especially after changes in local tax deduction in 2018 (SALT). But moving to Florida and be accepted there as a new resident is not the problem. The challenge is convincing New York State tax officials that you are no longer a New York domiciliary.

The concept of a domicile in the eyes of New York State tax officials
Photo: Pixabay

In other words, buying a new house in Miami and changing your home address is not enough! There are several different steps to take to be qualified as a non-resident for income tax purposes, in the departed states’ tax officials’ eyes.

Domicile: The concept

If we give a closer look at the law, we may define a domicile as the location where an individual lives and have the intention to make it a permanent home. Although the concept is surrounded by “intention,” it might not be enough! Some may say that intention must be supported by action, which can lead to subjective interpretations and offers the necessary gaps for high-tax states to continue collecting taxes from individuals who have moved, even if they are no longer physically living there.

In this article, we provide some of the actions you have to take to ensure you may not be considered a resident for tax purposes after moving to Florida or any other state. Be aware that this is not a legal article, and the information provided should be discussed and confirmed with a lawyer or a professional in a specific area. AMG Realty and its Real Estate professionals have been helping New Yorkers and other high-tax states residents move to Florida in a safe and planned way to be qualified as a resident in Florida and not be seen as tax-resident in the departed states.

Can I move to Florida and still keep my home in New York?

New York State tax authorities will consider many different factors to determine if an individual is no longer a NY resident, which varies from person to person.

Keeping your old home in New York is one of the factors taken into consideration. In that case, even if you buy a new house in Miami and spend most of the days of the year in the Sunshine State, you might still be considered a New York resident in the eyes of the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance.

Why is that?

The problem is not proving you moved and now live in Florida. That is not so difficult to accomplish. The challenge is convincing the state of New York; you are no longer a resident there.

Florida has always been a receptive state and usually welcomes everyone who wants to enjoy its lavish lifestyle. But imagine a state like New York, with heavy taxes on its residents. It is easy to understand why they will not let go that easy!

Donald Trump  and his wife Melania are going through that problem at this present time. They moved their residence from Manhattan (New York) to Palm Beach (Florida) and filed a declaration of domicile. But it looks like the state of New York is not making things easy, of course!

The simple fact that you have a new residence does not mean you are no longer a resident in your departed state, especially if you keep your old home there.

Even if you have your domicile certificate in Florida and changed your driver’s license to Florida and registered to vote in your new location, you may still be seen as having a domicile in New York in the eyes of the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance.

There are ways, of course, to show and prove to the New York State tax authorities that you are not domiciled in New York anymore, even if you own residential property there. One way is to turn the old home into a rental property! That would make the process easier, but it is not guaranteed.

About AMG Realty

AMG International Realty is a full-service brokerage firm in Florida. We are your one-stop-shop regarding Real Estate and related services. We have a full network of professionals in different areas, such as experienced tax lawyers and accountants, that we can refer to make relocating easier and planned. If you consider moving to Florida, call me today: + 1 (305) 318 6968 (Heloisa Arazi).

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