Domiciling in Florida: More Than Just Six Months and a Day

  • 12/21/21

Domiciling in Florida: More Than Just Six Months and a Day

In 2020, thousands of New Yorkers fled the Big Apple to live in a no-income-tax state, such as our own. With the evolution of remote work, it no longer makes sense to live in a high-tax state. However, reaping the benefits of a low tax state takes more than just six months and a day.

Residency Audits & The Burden of Proof 

Almost half of New Yorkers earning at least six figures have considered leaving. These earners makeup 80% of the city’s income tax revenue, and thus, 22% of the city’s overall tax revenue. When you stack the “wealth flight” on top of the debt incurred from the pandemic, cities like New York find themselves in a financial crisis.

These crises lead to more and more aggressive audits of their residents who change their domicile. The likelihood of a six-figure-earner getting audited while attempting to change domicile is nearly 100%. New York alone conducts over 3,000 non-residency audits annually, and over half of those audited lose. The 2018 average of back-taxes paid from a failed audit is over $270,000.

Testing your Domicile & Statutory Residency

There is a baseline test auditors use when analyzing domicile residency. Six months does not cut it: auditors want to know you have permanently moved.

There are two items that are closely examined:

  1. The Statutory Residency Test
  2. The Domicile Test

Generally speaking, the Statutory Residency Test considers you a New York resident if you have a permanent living space suitable for year-round living. Should you have multiple residences, but own a “place of abode” and still spend 183+ days a year in New York, then you are required to pay New York state taxes.

However, the Domicile Test defines where your home truly is. This audit will analyze if you truly intend to abandon your NY domicile and make Florida, for example, your principal residence. This test looks at everything from social media to health records. Auditors have even been known to conduct in-home visits to inspect your kitchen.

Next Steps

The best way to get started setting up your domicile in Florida is to find a legitimate (and comfortable) place of abode. Contact us today to get started.

Disclaimer: We’re neither financial nor legal advisors. This is to serve as an informational resource only. Should you seek any further guidance, we strongly recommend contacting your financial/legal advisor.

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