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Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 04:24 AM   #1
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Illegal Legal Residence

Are there some serious legal pitfalls possible with using a P.O. Box as your "residence".

One that comes to mind. You get your driving license and insurance in Nevada for tax reasons even though you really don't legally live in Nevada. Then you have a serious accident and are at fault. Does your insurance company pay? Or do they leave you to fend for yourself since the info on your insurance is "dodgy"?

I'm considering using a residence of "convenience" when I do some overseas travelling, so I really wonder how safe (covered) I'll be.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 08:26 AM   #2
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

OK, don't make me chuck a fruity

Someone must have some idea about the ramifications of a "casual" legal residence.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Residence is largely a matter of intent. However, that doesn't mean you can say "I intend to make state X my residence" even though you've never been there and make that stick. There are indicia of residency such as where you are registered to vote, where your domicile is, where you pay taxes, where you are licensed to drive, etc. The more of these you have in one place the better. What concerns me about your hypothetical is the implication that you would be using Nevada as your residency merely as a "convenience" or as a "casual legal residence." If you own property in state Y, for example, and have always lived there, I think that would be your primary residence. On the other hand, I'm not certain what harm there would be if you have no income, property, etc. in any other state. If it were me, I would tell my insurance agent what I was doing and listen to his/her advice. I would be similarly straight forward to any other taxing jurisdictions which might have an interest in your assets. To be even more thorough, I would discuss your plans with a local attorney, once you determine what "local" is.

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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 10:40 AM   #4
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

setab,
thanks.

I plan to move around quite a bit next year and basically no one place is home. Heck I don't even know the addresses yet. But I got to have some place for bills and Federal Tax return, etc.

If I get a UPS Store mailbox address in Reno, Nevada then that is my only address and they will forward.

My driver's licence is from the UK and it says I live in England. I'm now afraid to drive with it. Being a vagabond is rough and I ain't even worked up a sweat yet.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

I think a lot of these situations are resolved by outfits that wont take a PO box as a 'legal address' or will take it as a mailing address but not a residence.

Since you'll be in california, you'll be subject to their definition. And it is...

"A California resident is an individual who is in California for other than temporary reasons. A resident is an individual who is working, living, retiring or staying in California for a long period. If you stay in California for more than nine months, FTB will presume that you are a resident.

A resident is also an individual whose permanent home is in California but who is outside of California for a temporary purpose. For example, an individual goes on vacation in another state or works there temporarily. The individual still maintains residency in California and intends to return.

A temporary stay means that the individual is just visiting California. He or she may be here for a vacation, or completing a business transaction. But there is no intention to stay."
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 10:47 AM   #6
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

With regards to the UK drivers license, california recognizes non-US drivers licenses with no obvious limit as long as the holder remains a citizen of that country.

The department of motor vehicles says that if you "make your home" in california for 10 days, your out of state or out of country drivers license is not valid and you must obtain a local license.

A great source of how to do this right probably comes from people who live full time in RV's.

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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 10:51 AM   #7
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Well, If I recall correctly, George H. Bush (Bush senior) lives in Conneticutt but spends 2 weeks a year in Houston (in a hotel). By spending two weeks a year in Houston GHB can claim Texas as his residence and not pay state income taxes. Texas has no income taxes and Conneticutts are very steep. This is all perfectly legal per the rules of the game.

Now California on the other hand likes to really shake you down for your "Fair Share". Maybe you could set something up like the GHB thing. How does a 2-week stretch in Las Vegas sound ?

Perhaps you should speak with a Nevada accountant (CPA).
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Bunny,
Thanks that was very helpful. *By moving there with almost no goods it is proof that I did not intend to stay. *

I'm like an RV'er without an RV or a boater without the boat. *A non-train-riding hobo.

MasterBlaster, good one.
I just may join W in Texas later this year. And you are very true, CA comes after your taxes like rabid dogs. I spent many years fighting them. I lived overseas for 15 years and every year they threatened me.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

The split state thing can also be interesting. If you 'legally live' in one but according to the one you actually spend most of the time, that you also meet their residency requirements, both may come after you for taxes.

I had that lovely situation when I moved from MA to CA late in the year. I think what ended up happening (it was a long time ago) was that i paid taxes on what I earned in MA to MA and taxes on what I earned in CA to CA, and then got to take some small credit for paying taxes to another state. It was a hellacious mess of three returns. And no turbotax then.

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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 11:36 AM   #10
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Generally it is easy to establish a residency in a particular state. What may be difficult is ending residency of your prior state of residence. Illinois may have a checklist to go through to show you have terminated residency in that state.
And watch out becoming an inadvertent resident of a state by spending a bunch of time there and getting "badges" of residency, like a driver's license, voting, renting an apartment, etc. From CFB's California definition of residency, it looks like you could end up being a California resident. The last thing you want is being a resident of more than one state.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 11:42 AM   #11
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Martha,
I'm filing my taxes this week and I was planning to give Illinois my new address. I hope that's on their checklist.

I've been over on some RV boards like CnFB suggested and they have some interesting stuff. Using a PO Box as a residence in Texas was challenged in court by some RV club and they won. So a PO Box qualifies as a residence in Texas according to ESCAPEES.COM. Allows you to register, vote, get a license.

Of course, I've spent all of 5 minutes on reading so I could be badly misled.

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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 11:48 AM   #12
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Martha,
I'm filing my taxes this week and I was planning to give Illinois my new address. I hope that's on their checklist.

I've been over on some RV boards like CnFB suggested and they have some interesting stuff. Using a PO Box as a residence in Texas was challenged in court by some RV club and they won. So a PO Box qualifies as a residence in Texas according to ESCAPEES.COM. Allows you to register, vote, get a license.

Of course, I've spent all of 5 minutes on reading so I could be badly misled.

No, you are not misled. A lot of people us North Dakota (or is it South Dakota?) as their residence as well. But these people also do not then spend a considerable amount of time in one place. They don't have a home base anywhere. Watch out for that California definition of residency. It is very, very vague and might trap you. How is your health insurance going to work?
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Martha,
I hope by not moving any goods other than clothing to SF, I can escape the greedy vultures. I want to pay tax to a state that will use the money responsibly and that is definitely not CA.


On health insurance, I talked to my companies Retiree Insurance rep this morning and she said all retirees are insured thru BlueCrossBlueShield of IL, regardless of where they live. A call to a fellow retiree (on the course) in Tampa confirmed that.

She said I can go to any In-Network doctor anywhere in the US and it's covered the same. She gave me the number of BCBS for our group so that I could check the SF area doctors are In-Network.

Damn, wasn't retirement supposed to be pools, Corona and chasing women
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 12:48 PM   #14
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

That dakotas thing must be hard to pull off. How do you stand in a court of law and say you live in north dakota with a straight face and have anyone believe you? :sarcasm: :kidding:

I had a bout of discussion with a CHP officer who pulled me over. Told me he had seen my MA plates around town a couple of times that month and was I aware of the residency requirements? I had paid my MA tags for another 9 months and wanted to hold off on paying for CA tags, car tax, and the now illegal and retracted "out of state pollution fee" you had to pay for bringing non-CA cars into CA. So I told him I lived in MA (I still owned a house there, my dad was living in it, and almost all of my stuff was still in it), was doing a contract job in CA, and would be spending just a few months and temporarily renting an apartment by the week while there.

He said if I spent more than 10 days living in the temporary apartment, that I was a california resident and had to get a drivers license and register the car. And if he saw my MA plates again, he'd write me a ticket. Suggested I move into a hotel and drive a local rental car if I didnt want to qualify as a resident.

All I had at the time was my clothes, a couch, a tv, a bed, a small table and two chairs, and some pots and pans. Where you're staying and what your intentions are seem to be a lot more important than volume of stuff.

In my old mcmansion neighborhood, we were a couple of hours drive from lake tahoe. It was very popular to buy a second vacation home in tahoe on the Nevada side, register your cars up there and use that as your 'residence' to avoid the high california car taxes. Big crack down...they were pulling over people with nevada plates and looking for nevada plates on cars in driveways for a while.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 01:41 PM   #15
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

CnFB,
You never see the CHP pulling 35 year old pickups with Tijuana/no plates. No money in that.

On PCH just below the aerospace complexes in Redondo Beach, there would be 6-8 CHP every weekday pulling anyone with a tie. On the weekends, you could speed thru at 120mph without fear.

Money, money, money.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 01:54 PM   #16
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Yep, my wifes old neighbor had that observation. He never gets stopped in his 900 year old pickup truck, just the wifes toyota. The cops never respond when he calls them to deal with the people camping out on the vacant lot in the neighborhood.

Lots of work with no payoff.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 02:11 PM   #17
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

CnFB,
Yeah, responding to those type things is like selling a 50 cent bag of dope.

I tried to buy some Illudium Phosdex today at Walgreen's. Evidently they quit selling it.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 03:19 PM   #18
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Without meaning to steal this thread, I noticed the discussion about what constitutes legal residency (and the requirement to pay local taxes) in California, and I wonder if if one who is contemplating moving to California could avoid CA taxes on a major stock sale by doing so before formally moving (even if only by a relatively short time)?

I think the answer is "yes," based in part on the information above, but would appreciate input from those who may really know.
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 03:45 PM   #19
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

Post your question on Google misc.taxes.moderated
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence
Old 03-20-2006, 03:54 PM   #20
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Re: Illegal Legal Residence

playaman,
those are questions I have also. But my experience is that CA will try to get a share.
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