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Florida mailing address and auto, health
Old 09-12-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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Florida mailing address and auto, health

Hi all. I’m trying to decide whether to keep my automobile registered in my current state of residence (Tax State) after obtaining a virtual mailing address in Florida (FL) this upcoming December. (With a virtual mailing address, I would be able to view my mail through a web browser and choose what to discard, have scanned, or physically sent to me). I plan to remain working and living in Tax State for six months after the address change, then sell the vehicle and not replace it.

I took a voluntary buyout from megacorp in June. I am now consulting for them in Tax State part-time. I do plan to report my megacorp earned income to Tax State, either under my Tax State address or as a non-resident.

Over the last few years I have downsized my stuff, moved in to a small apartment, and basically simplified my life. No spouse, no dependents.

My plan is to sell the rest of my furniture and get down to a dozen or so boxes of stuff that I will store in a relative’s home. In December I will change my address to the virtual FL address. I will move out of my apartment on December 18, travel for the holidays, then stay at extended stay hotels and furnished apartments in Tax State where megacorp resides (the state I live in now). This will be for the first six months of 2015 while I finish consulting for them. Then in July 2015 I will sell the car (with no plans to replace) and travel for an extended period.

It will cost a lot in hassle and money to title & register (~$350) and re-insure my vehicle in FL for just six months…not a very long time to amortize the pain over. If I skipped that, I don’t see a need to even go to FL until June/July 2015 to get my FL driver’s license just prior to going vehicle-less. That sounds good, right?

The concern I have is whether my current auto insurance (and umbrella policy on the auto and my non-LLC rental property, which is in yet another state, and all with the same carrier…) would become void when I notified my carrier in December of my new mailing address in FL. Not sure they would “get it” in terms of what I am trying to do over the first half of 2015.

Then there’s the state of FL, though not sure how they would know about me until I applied for a driver’s license. If I were a resident in their eyes I suppose I could run afoul.

As for Tax State, my vehicle registration is up for renewal in April 2015. My Tax State driver’s license would still be valid at that time so not sure how they would know about my FL mailing address unless it was changed on my insurance card or I told them.

And my health insurance… I am enrolled in a bronze plan in Tax State that I obtained through the Federal exchange. I’ll need to decide whether to enroll in a FL plan immediately after my changing my mailing address to FL or wait until July 2015. Haven’t priced out the plans in FL yet. Not planning to visit a doc anytime soon, but sort of along the same lines as the auto registration, thinking about where could I run afoul…

I am tired of the apartment and want to get out. I would rather not change address to another apartment locally in December, then change address again to FL in July 2015. I am pretty set on changing my mailing address to FL in December absent a compelling reason not to.

Here’s what I’m leaning towards…set up the FL mailing address in December and treat it as just that…a place to receive my mail. Let the USPS forward my mail there (the USPS offers free temporary or permanent mail forwarding) and don’t notify any senders of the change in address until June 2015. On a day-to-day level everything would remain the same…my physical location, driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance carriers, doctor, etc. would all remain in Tax State. I would report any investment income received while in Tax State as Tax State income (which won’t be much, maybe $2k in dividends for half the year).

Thoughts anyone? And am I missing anything that could be a problem?

Sincerely,

Gerbil
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:54 AM   #2
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my gut feeling, not knowing your tax State, is if you change anything change everything.

You probably could live in Florida without changing anything other than your address for mail but once you change your drivers liscense and insurance they could cite you for not registering your car. Frankly, you probably don't have a problem but you should check with all before determing what to do. Lot's of folks have two homes, spending summer in one and winter in the other. They commute but don't change insurance, car titles, etc.
Enjoy Florida.......wish I could live there.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jerome len View Post
my gut feeling, not knowing your tax State, is if you change anything change everything.

You probably could live in Florida without changing anything other than your address for mail but once you change your drivers liscense and insurance they could cite you for not registering your car. Frankly, you probably don't have a problem but you should check with all before determing what to do. Lot's of folks have two homes, spending summer in one and winter in the other. They commute but don't change insurance, car titles, etc.
Enjoy Florida.......wish I could live there.
Thanks. I won't consider myself actually living in Florida until July 2015. At that time the car will be gone but I will have a FL driver's license. After my travels I will probably get an apartment and car in Florida, in 2016 or 2017.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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I am a CPA and just had a client lose this argument with their tax State. Client changed driver's license, car registration, voter registration, etc to FL. They had applied for Homestead tax relief in their tax State 10 years ago and was granted tax reduction. They subsequently forgot about this. They applied to FL for Homestead relief and were denied. FL reported to tax State the denial and tax State assessed the client for back taxes.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:23 AM   #5
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In OP's case, I think it is simpler to just wait until June 2015 to change resident tax state and file a part-year resident tax return for the first half of 2015 in 2016. That way you don't need to change the car registration and can avoid the re-titling costs. The cost is the incremental state income tax on dividends during the first half of 2015 but it is not very significant. It also makes for a cleaner break if you were ever challenged in that you stopped consulting in tax state, left the state and established residency in FL and got your license there. Will you register to vote there as well? Can you use this "virtual" address for a driver's license and to vote?
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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Since 1990, each year, we have spent about half the year in Florida... only changing our mailing address. Never a problem, except for the one time, back in 1993, when we had our HMO in Illinois, and our agreement required living within 35 miles of a covered facility. Normal out of area care was approved, but when a very expensive urgent surgery was required, our "approved" doctor refused to approve the emergency operation. A nightmare of 6 digit costs that was eventually approved, but which probably took 5 years off my life.

Anyway, no other problems. The legal part of auto registration in FL, has, in all cases that I've been aware of...( literally many , many hundreds of out of state residents)... been ignored by the authorities, and the insurance agencies. Changing Medicare Supplements is not required.

Not a legal opinion, but 25 years of experience.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jimbo125 View Post
I am a CPA and just had a client lose this argument with their tax State. Client changed driver's license, car registration, voter registration, etc to FL. They had applied for Homestead tax relief in their tax State 10 years ago and was granted tax reduction. They subsequently forgot about this. They applied to FL for Homestead relief and were denied. FL reported to tax State the denial and tax State assessed the client for back taxes.
Just curious, how long did they have the FL license, et al but still get tax state homestead tax relief? and what was FL's basis for denying homestead given the driver's license, etc.? There must be more to it than what you describe above.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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Will you register to vote there as well? Can you use this "virtual" address for a driver's license and to vote?
Thank you. Yes, I will register to vote in FL and plan to do so in mid-2015. That can be done concurrent with a driver's license application, but I will register to vote a few weeks earlier because...two proof of residency docs are required for the driver's license application. The only two I will be able to produce at that time are correspondence from a financial institution and the voter registration card. The voter registration application will take last 4 digits of SSN in lieu of a FL driver's license number.

I am pretty sure the virtual address will work for both. The address is a physical street address (123 Main Street, #12345) rather than a p.o. box.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:01 PM   #9
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Just curious, how long did they have the FL license, et al but still get tax state homestead tax relief? and what was FL's basis for denying homestead given the driver's license, etc.? There must be more to it than what you describe above.
They had tax State homestead tax relief for 5 years after moving to FL. Their grown son continued to use the tax State house.

What triggered everything was that they applied for FL homestead relief and were denied because they already had it in tax State.

We are still fighting this in the Courts, but in retrospect, they should have either sold/rented their tax State residence and given up the Homestead tax relief.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
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They had tax State homestead tax relief for 5 years after moving to FL. Their grown son continued to use the tax State house.

What triggered everything was that they applied for FL homestead relief and were denied because they already had it in tax State.

We are still fighting this in the Courts, but in retrospect, they should have either sold/rented their tax State residence and given up the Homestead tax relief.
I can see where the state would be unhappy given the length of time they benefited. It would seem that they might have a case that they their failure to let tax state know the tax state property was no longer their homestead was an oversight and be required to payback any benefit they received plus interest (but not income taxes for the five years). As someone who is considering changing state tax jurisdictions I can see that is something that I might overlook, especially if the benefit isn't obvious from the property tax bill (it would be obvious in my state as it is shown as a credit).
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:19 PM   #11
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Yeah, you are not moving out of Tax State until the middle of the year. That is when I would apply for the FL driver's license, etc., after that period.

I have a Texas driver's license and I was able to get the license with a mail forwarding address. Although, technically, you are supposed to start with a street address and then change it to the forwarding address. I was ready with my temporary street address (a hotel) in case they didn't accept the forwarding address. Not all states accept a forwarding address as an address change for a driver's license but Texas law specifically allows this.

My initial voter's registration was rejected in Texas, they do not initially accept a mail forwarding address for that, although you can change the address to that later.

I also went to the trouble to un-register to vote in my previous Tax State location. And when you apply for a driver's license in FL, they will want you to forfeit your Tax State license to them.

I was recently able to renew my TX license on-line. Apparently, you can ordinarily renew on-line every other time (6 year validity, so every 12 years you need to renew in person). You can renew up to 1 year early or 2 years late.

Tax State will be notified of your departure when you file your 2015 state non-resident income taxes. The key is to never turn up on their radar after that notification.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:07 AM   #12
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Not all states accept a forwarding address as an address change for a driver's license but Texas law specifically allows this..
Thanks for your input. How would a state know that an address was a forwarding address if it read just like a street address? It would show up in their system as a forwarding address or something?
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:18 AM   #13
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I am a CPA and just had a client lose this argument with their tax State. Client changed driver's license, car registration, voter registration, etc to FL. They had applied for Homestead tax relief in their tax State 10 years ago and was granted tax reduction. They subsequently forgot about this. They applied to FL for Homestead relief and were denied. FL reported to tax State the denial and tax State assessed the client for back taxes.
But that was a silly thing for your client to forget. We did it for years with no issues at all. Used a Virtual Address in FLA that is.

My recommendation for a service is St. Brendans Isle.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:49 AM   #14
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Thanks for your input. How would a state know that an address was a forwarding address if it read just like a street address? It would show up in their system as a forwarding address or something?
Yes, as far as I know, most forwarding addresses are known as such by just about any database.

When the lady was inputting this for my TX driver's license, she hesitated for a minute, like she was not sure. But then went ahead and did it.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:14 AM   #15
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I would like to know the name of the virtual mail service that scans things and gives you a choice of what mail to receive - thanx.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:17 AM   #16
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A couple of notes about USPS forwarding:

1. A "vacation or temporary forward" only forwards first and second class mail (and does not send the new address to those who have put 'Address Correction Requested' near their return address).

2. You can manage the forwarding with an online account with USPS.com

Kindest regards.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #17
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I would like to know the name of the virtual mail service that scans things and gives you a choice of what mail to receive - thanx.
Here are three such services: MyRV Mail, St. Brendan's Isle, and Traveling Mailbox.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:47 AM   #18
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They had tax State homestead tax relief for 5 years after moving to FL. Their grown son continued to use the tax State house.

What triggered everything was that they applied for FL homestead relief and were denied because they already had it in tax State.

We are still fighting this in the Courts, but in retrospect, they should have either sold/rented their tax State residence and given up the Homestead tax relief.
I'm still not getting this. Was it because they had homestead exemptions in both places? Are you saying that FL checks with Tax State to see if the homestead exemption is still on the local property? We are planning to pre-apply for FL homestead exemption as of January 1 and have asked the Tax State assessor to remove the homestead exemption on that house as of January 1. We will have all the other FL pre-requisites (driver's licenses, auto registration, voter registration, utility bills, deed, etc.) when we apply.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:01 PM   #19
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My wife and I sold our house in Maryland and travel full-time in our RV.

I use St Brendan's Isle mail service in Florida (they offer scan service and I can select mail to be forwarded or shredded). Companies and state governments most certainly have the "street address" of the services flagged. Two separate brokerages threatened to liquidate my holdings and send me a check (and subject me to exorbitant capital gains) if I didn't provide them with a physical address other than St Brendan's Isle within 30 days. And my home state (Maryland) is contesting the "move" claiming St Brendan's is not a physical address, but rather a mail forwarding service scam. When establishing residency, it's important not only to create your new domicile (license, registrations, declaration of domicile) but also to sever your former state ties. States look at things like bank accounts, storage units, real property ownership (even rental property), church membership, bank lock boxes, and relatives in the former state to prove residency. And they are winning in court.

Many states are aggressively targeting those they suspect of "moving" to states that are more income tax friendly. The desire (read: greed) for income tax revenue in some states is very strong.
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:01 AM   #20
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I'm still not getting this. Was it because they had homestead exemptions in both places? Are you saying that FL checks with Tax State to see if the homestead exemption is still on the local property? We are planning to pre-apply for FL homestead exemption as of January 1 and have asked the Tax State assessor to remove the homestead exemption on that house as of January 1. We will have all the other FL pre-requisites (driver's licenses, auto registration, voter registration, utility bills, deed, etc.) when we apply.
I'll let Jimbo clarify, but I think what they did was redomicile to FL but they forgot or conveniently forgot to notify tax state that they no longer qualified for the homestead benefit in tax state and continued to get it and tax state later came after them for state income taxes for the years that they continued to get the homestead benefit.

It sounds like Fl does check to see if you have a homestead exemption in another state before giving you a homestead exemption in FL.
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