When Are You Considered a Legal Resident of Florida

Florida offers residents the option to fill out a form called Declaration of Residence. This form is a legal statement of your intention to reside and remain in Florida. You must sign the form in front of a notary and submit it to the local court. However, this form cannot be recognized by other States. Of course, there is no state income tax in Florida, but that doesn`t mean Florida residents don`t pay other taxes. For example, as a Florida resident, you still have to pay federal income taxes. So, when you file your next federal 1040 number, be sure to include your Florida address as your home address. You must also change your registered address with the IRS by completing Form 8822. A fraudulent transfer occurs when a debtor transfers an asset to hinder or delay collection from a current or future creditor. New residents must apply for a Florida driver`s license in person at a local office that offers driver`s license services (click here (opens in a new window) to find the nearest office). The fee for an initial Class E license in Florida is $48 (unless you are a veteran, the local tax collector may also charge an additional $6.25 service fee). You will also need to submit certain documents to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver`s license (the list of documents required for U.S.

citizens can be found on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website (opens in a new tab)). There is no waiting period to establish residence in Florida for asset protection purposes. Once you intend to make Florida your primary residence, you will be a Florida resident and eligible for Florida property protection benefits. In general, moving to Florida to take advantage of Florida`s legal exemptions and creditor protection is not a fraudulent transfer. See In re Hill, 163 BC 591 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. 1994). However, there is at least one case where the court did not allow Florida exemptions if the person moved to Florida solely to use exemptions to frustrate creditors in another state. For the protection of Florida assets, what is required to become a Florida resident is a genuine intention to make Florida your permanent residence. There is no strict six-month time limit.

With that in mind, establishing a residency means spending and maximizing your time in Florida. You must spend 183 days or more in the state to be a tax resident for that year. Your travel documents and utility bills can be used to prove where you spend your time. If your summer home is located in New York City, at least the state will consider the size of the home in the context of the geographic area where each residence is located. For example, while a 3,000-square-foot apartment in Manhattan may seem cramped compared to a lavish home in Florida, New York tax inspectors may still consider the two homes relatively identical because the apartment is spacious by New York City standards. But you can`t just say, “I`m a Florida resident” and magically make your summer state income tax bill disappear. You need to show that Florida is your primary, permanent home — and it`s your actions, not your words, that matter most. This means you`ll need to disconnect as many connections to your home as possible in hot weather and put down roots in Florida. But no matter how rooted you become in Florida, don`t be surprised if your summer state still wants you, as a resident, to pay taxes on all your income (rather than just paying income taxes in the state as a non-resident). Tax authorities in many high-tax northern states have a well-deserved reputation for fighting wealthier snowbirds who suddenly pretend to be Florida residents. So when you make this statement, make sure you can back it up.

Here are a few things you can do to show that you`re actually a Florida resident if your warm weather state calls into question your residency status. “Residence” in a state refers to where a person (or married couple) retains permanent residence and where they are expected to reside permanently. Your state of residence determines the state to which you pay taxes and may qualify you for government programs and benefits. Residents of all states are subject to federal income tax, but Florida residents do not benefit from any state income tax, estate tax, estate tax, or intangible tax. What does that mean? This can mean tax savings in the thousands! Savings from IRA withdrawals, retirement and employment income, and pensions. In general, only Florida residents can take advantage of liberal asset protection laws. For example, in order to protect money on a Florida homestead or other assets protected by Florida laws, one must first establish oneself as a Florida resident. States like Florida allow you to file an affidavit at the county court clerk`s office declaring you a resident of the state. The term “Florida resident” has different meanings in different parts of Florida law. For asset protection, Florida residency means more than just owning Florida real estate or a Florida address. Whether or not you qualify as a permanent resident of Florida depends on your situation and your actions proving your intention to establish primary residence in Florida.

If “coming home” means you`re returning to your Florida residence and your mail is sent to your Florida address, you`re likely a Florida resident. If similar tax relief is available in your northern state, don`t claim it if it`s only available to residents. If you do, you`re telling your summer state that you reside there, not Florida. However, in rare situations, a person may be a resident of two states for state income tax purposes. This situation occurs when a person is a resident of one state but lives in another state for more than 183 days. This could lead the other state to levy income taxes. Second, Florida does not levy estate tax or state estate tax. A number 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 a resident. However, if you are declared a resident of Florida, these taxes from other states can be avoided. Your family will thank you when you pass.

If you own a business in your summer state, moving to Florida will definitely help your case if your Florida residency status is in question. During the winter months, you`ll likely hear a lot about permanent Floridians about the tax benefits of being a full-fledged Florida resident. After all, Florida is one of nine states with no income tax. So if your summer home is located in a high-tax state in the north — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, etc. — you could potentially save thousands of dollars each year if you can meet Florida residency requirements. Florida law § 196.012 defines permanent residence as “the place where a person has his real, fixed and permanent residence and principal place of business, to which, in case of absence, he intends to return.” It takes time, but settling in residence allows you to enjoy the many benefits the state offers its residents, from wealth protection to income tax exemption. In the meantime, enjoy the many activities Florida has to offer. Remember, the more time you spend in Florida, the easier it is to declare your residency.