Why New Yorkers Are Claiming Florida Residence to Save on Taxes
Look around Fort Lauderdale and there is a distinct New York flavor. With apologies to Billy Joel, it almost seems like the city has a New York state of time. New York transplants make up a huge chunk of Fort Lauderdale’s population. The trend isn’t ending anytime soon. For years, snowbirds from the Big Apple have been coming down to South Florida to enjoy the sun in the fun. But there is another overlooked reason why more New Yorkers are choosing to call Fort Lauderdale home. It can help them save money on their taxes.
The Lure of No State Income Tax
New York City is one of the most expensive places to live in the entire nation. In addition to paying high rents and property values, New Yorkers must also deal with the largest state income tax, currently at 8.92 percent. Conversely, Florida has no state income tax. Do the math and it makes perfect sense why more New Yorkers look to South Florida as a great place to live. However, there are many who try work the system in their favor by maintaining residency in both states. It is not unusual for some people, particularly the wealthy or retirees to purchase a winter home in Fort Lauderdale. To reverse the trend, states like New York and Minnesota, are aggressively going after taxpayers in their states.
To avoid state income tax, New Yorkers must prove they intend to live in Fort Lauderdale permanently. To take advantage, more New Yorkers are selling their property up north and moving south. However, should someone try to maintain properties in both states, they can expect their tax records to be heavily scrutinized. Many retirees chose to keep their northern properties with their family, while they move to South Florida.
How To Prove Florida Residency
To legally avoid paying state income tax in New York, a person must prove they have lived more than half the year in Florida. (At least 183 days). The Florida property must be considered a permanent home. Should you choose to utilize this option, be prepared for tax auditors to take notice. It is important to be meticulous and keep detailed records, proving the number of days spent in Florida. In the past, many people have used plane tickets to indicate they have spent six months in the state. However, that may not be sufficient proof. Although plane tickets may show where a person was when they departed New York and the day they returned, they do not indicate what happened during all the days between.
Tax auditors want to see evidence a person is truly committed to living in Florida. Some of the ways to satisfy an inquiry are to apply for a driver’s license, register to vote or apply for a library card. Because auditors will sometimes review credit card information, it is wise to shop locally. Another way to prove residency is to file a Declaration of Domicile with the Broward County Court.
Do You Have Tax Problems? A Fort Lauderdale Tax Attorney Can Help?
Tax problems can often get complicated. When it comes to taxes, there is no such thing as a dumb question. One of the best sources of help is to contact an experienced and knowledgeable tax professional. Fort Lauderdale tax lawyer, Ira L. Zuckerman bring a track record of more than 30 combined years of helping people through some of the most difficult tax issues. Whether you owe back taxes to the IRS or faced an audit, they can help to resolve your problem. To learn more, contact the Fort Lauderdale law offices of Zuckerman Law, LLC and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.