Claiming Florida as Your State of Residence

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Claiming Florida As Your State of Residence: Things You Should Know First

Going about claiming Florida as your state of residence does require planning and careful recording of how you have become a resident of Florida.

Question: I live in New York. If I buy a second home in Florida, can I count Florida as my residence for state tax purposes?

Answer: Maybe, and claiming the Sunshine State as your permanent residence could save you a lot of money. Florida has no state income tax, whereas New York has a top income tax rate of 8.92%. But you can’t just tap your heels together to make it happen. And tax officials in states that are home to a lot of snowbirds—New York and Minnesota in particular—have become more aggressive about going after people they consider taxpaying residents….

Prove it. First, you’ll need to show that you spend more than half the year – 183 days – in the state you claim as your domicile (that is, the place you consider your permanent home). That’s the basis for most state definitions of residency for tax purposes. But don’t expect state tax auditors to take your word for it. Keep a diary or log showing the number of days you spend in each state during the year, says Tim Steffen, director of financial planning for Robert W. Baird.

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Sandra Block, senior associate editor, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, The Kiplinger Washington Editors.

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