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Old 12-25-2017, 10:10 AM   #21
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As far as I know the State of Florida does not have any specific requirements to define a resident. Requirements do exist to claim some benefits associated with residency, such as in-state tuition and homestead exemption, but the State itself has no specific requirement.

Most states are similar, and do not have a formal definition of residency. They prefer to investigate individual situations and define as needed on a case by case basis. Because of this, there are “usual and customary” elements that indicate residency. Auto registration, voting registration, financial accounts domicile are typical, and used by attorneys and tax preparers as proof. These are precedent based, not statutory.

We need to define state residency for many reasons. One is to deal with businesses that require a domicile, such as banks an health insurers. Another is to avoid being deemed residents by states looking to satisfy their purpose. Importantly, though, is that only States can authorize individuals to drive motor vehicles, vote, and in many cases, conduct business.
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:52 AM   #22
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Just wondering what people who travel constantly and use a mail forwarder as an official address do with American Express or Vanguard whose computers throw out mail forwarders and insist on a real Street address. I use my mother’s but I find that not really satisfactory.
Some mail forwarders just like private mail boxes have a real street address, this is one of the things the UPS store advertises.
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:55 AM   #23
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New York is super aggressive on this stuff. Could it be because they have lots of WS types claiming residency in CT, to avoid all the taxes?

My cousin had bought a house in CT, and actually moved there but they kept an apt in the city for the husband, who worked on WS. They got a huge back tax bill. NY used credit cards to validate their claims.

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Old 12-25-2017, 11:01 AM   #24
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Like has been said, Texas, South Dakota and Florida are popular with RVers.

The problem with Texas is having to go back yearly to renew license plates. You cannot get around thst.
According to this web site you can handle the process by mail https://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/registration-renewal.php

Note that if the vehicle is out of state the inspection requirement is waived until you return.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:31 AM   #25
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Another thing to consider, as it appears OP is still working for a living. Many of those nights/days out of state might be on work assignments. For residency purposes, they would probably look at where the trip originated and where it returned. Plus, who paid the bill for it, and did it look like a business trip (reimbursed expenses or sales commissions) or did it look like vacation? What address does the employer send the W2 form to?

I think the only time a state is difficult to get in as a resident is if you are looking for in-state college tuition. Most of these tax situations are associated with folks trying to be a resident someplace that has lower tax consequences.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:38 AM   #26
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Just wondering what people who travel constantly and use a mail forwarder as an official address do with American Express or Vanguard whose computers throw out mail forwarders and insist on a real Street address. I use my mother’s but I find that not really satisfactory.
You can probably give out your mothers address as your physical address then add a PO Box or mail forwarding service as your mailing address. They usually don't ask to update the information.
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:34 PM   #27
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You can also use the tracking days app to prove your absents from the state. This is what I intend to use.
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:46 PM   #28
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There are also rules between countries. The US has a test that will be applied against “resident aliens” (nothing to do with ET’s ) who, although not citizens or landed immigrants, spend a considerable period of time in the US. They require an annual form be filed that considers many of the factors I mentioned previously. Life can certainly be complicated.
My understanding was that “resident alien” is the US term applied to people that we call “landed immigrants” in Canada.

People who are not US citizens who live in the US for varying periods of time require “non-resident visas”, of which there are many types. For example, I held a J1 Visa for three successive years in the 1980s, when I was doing postgraduate training. That visa had to be renewed annually and specifically required me to leave the US on expiry. The procedure was a bit more onerous than filling a form.

For my first few years in Canada, I required a working permit, which my employer had to sponsor. The employer began the process of sponsoring me for landed immigrant status after two years (I guess they thought I was worth keeping). That took almost a year and I had to travel to a Canadian consulate outside Canada to be interviewed (the logic of which escapes me). Once I was a landed immigrant, I could travel freely. Three years after becoming a landed immigrant, I was able to apply for Canadian citizenship. That process took 10 months. I finally became a Canadian citizen almost 7 years after moving here. It was very empowering. Finally I felt I belonged. I would vote, express an opinion and endeavour to change things if I didn’t like them.
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Old 12-25-2017, 04:52 PM   #29
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I'm afraid you're a little off track in your assessment of Florida's position about residents. Just this past year Florida conducted an extensive audit of individuals claiming the homestead exemption on their Florida home and thousands of those exemptions were determined to be fraudulent and they were assessed back taxes, interest and penalties.

Furthermore, I can tell you there are many ways they can track your presence and I have sat in on audits and witnessed it. Think about the evidence contained in your credit cards bills, checking account and utilities including telephone records. When you are asked to produce those you can be sure Florida will have a pretty good idea about where you spend your time.
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So what were the violations of the homestead exemptions, and do you have a reference to that? I never heard about it, and as I said, we're residents of the state. Were people claiming them when not owning a residence? The only articles I was able to find about audits were about people claiming the homestead exemption on properties they were actually using as rentals. That's obvious fraud, and should be prosecuted.

The only rules for claiming the homestead exemption are
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  1. It is your present intent to make the property your permanent residence,
  2. You have legal or equitable title to the property on January 1, and
  3. You reside on the property on January 1 and in good faith make it your permanent residence.

The Florida Attorney General has interpreted the law to mean that you do not have to "physically occupy" the property on January 1st in order to be eligible for a Homestead Exemption during the current tax year, as long as the other residency factors listed below are met.
So yes, my semi-sarcastic comment about not needing to set foot in the state was inaccurate. But as far as I know there's no requirement for how long you need to be in the state. I suspect that as long as you own a residence and claim it as your primary (paying taxes, voting, drivers license, etc.), they really wouldn't care if you spent any time in the state in any particular year.

A FL permanent residence
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means the place where a person has his or her true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning. A person may have only one permanent residence at a time*; and, once a permanent residence is established, it is presumed to continue until he or she shows that a change has occurred.
And obviously, it would be possible to track anyone in this country these days. But would any state bother? I can't imagine it unless a) someone narc'ed on them, or b) there were big bucks at stake. And as far as "asked to produce those" records, that would require a subpoena. That's not the kind of thing that happens unless, again, there are significant dollars at stake.
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:58 PM   #30
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Like has been said, Texas, South Dakota and Florida are popular with RVers.

The problem with Texas is having to go back yearly to renew license plates. You cannot get around thst.
Annual vehicle registration can be paid remotely - that’s not a problem. It’s the annual vehicle inspection requirement that’s a pain. It used to be you could ignore it until you returned to the state and then take care of it as soon as arriving in state. But now they’ve tied annual vehicle registration to the annual inspection, so it’s a problem.

This year they almost dropped the annual vehicle inspection requirement. Most states don’t have it.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:01 PM   #31
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This year they almost dropped the annual vehicle inspection requirement. Most states don’t have it.
I'm hoping the next legislative session (2019) will finally do away with it - at least for vehicles less than 10 years old.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:02 PM   #32
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According to this web site you can handle the process by mail https://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/registration-renewal.php

Note that if the vehicle is out of state the inspection requirement is waived until you return.
Thanks - I was wondering.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:03 PM   #33
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I'm hoping the next legislative session (2019) will finally do away with it - at least for vehicles less than 10 years old.
They came so close.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:56 PM   #34
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When I left California to travel, I set up Domicile in Florida and got a Mail forwarding service in FL. ($12pm) I never had to actually go to Florida during this process. Then traveled all over the place. I filed a FL tax return and CA never even asked or sent me any requests. I later settled in FLA and got a drivers license there (After 4 years I still had a CA license).

All Good.
You filed a FL tax return? Interesting, how'd you do that? There is no personal income tax for Florida.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:33 AM   #35
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You filed a FL tax return? Interesting, how'd you do that? There is no personal income tax for Florida.


Maybe he meant he filed a federal tax return using a Florida address.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:29 AM   #36
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My understanding was that “resident alien” is the US term applied to people that we call “landed immigrants” in Canada.

People who are not US citizens who live in the US for varying periods of time require “non-resident visas”, of which there are many types. For example, I held a J1 Visa for three successive years in the 1980s, when I was doing postgraduate training. That visa had to be renewed annually and specifically required me to leave the US on expiry. The procedure was a bit more onerous than filling a form.

For my first few years in Canada, I required a working permit, which my employer had to sponsor. The employer began the process of sponsoring me for landed immigrant status after two years (I guess they thought I was worth keeping). That took almost a year and I had to travel to a Canadian consulate outside Canada to be interviewed (the logic of which escapes me). Once I was a landed immigrant, I could travel freely. Three years after becoming a landed immigrant, I was able to apply for Canadian citizenship. That process took 10 months. I finally became a Canadian citizen almost 7 years after moving here. It was very empowering. Finally I felt I belonged. I would vote, express an opinion and endeavour to change things if I didn’t like them.
There are two (at least) separate issues when talking about US residency. The first issue relates to VISA’s and your ability to live and work in US. The second issue relates to paying income taxes and is related to the first issue but quite different. If you spend a lot of time in the US (defined by a mathematical rolling formula over 3 years) but do not have legal status(green card), you may still need to file a US income tax return. You would be called a “resident alien for tax purposes”. Form 8840 (closer connection form) is used to “prove” a closer connection to another country and thus avoid this ”label” and the requirement to file a US Tax return.

For snow birds the the tax issue is the one that “bites” as snowbirds are usually familiar with the immigration, (ie VISA) rules and do not intend to become “lawful permanent residents of the US” ie green card holders). They may still need to file US tax returns if they don’t file form 8840.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:09 AM   #37
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There are two (at least) separate issues when talking about US residency. The first issue relates to VISA’s and your ability to live and work in US. The second issue relates to paying income taxes and is related to the first issue but quite different. If you spend a lot of time in the US (defined by a mathematical rolling formula over 3 years) but do not have legal status(green card), you may still need to file a US income tax return. You would be called a “resident alien for tax purposes”. Form 8840 (closer connection form) is used to “prove” a closer connection to another country and thus avoid this ”label” and the requirement to file a US Tax return.

For snow birds the the tax issue is the one that “bites” as snowbirds are usually familiar with the immigration, (ie VISA) rules and do not intend to become “lawful permanent residents of the US” ie green card holders). They may still need to file US tax returns if they don’t file form 8840.
True. I have a number of Canadian friends who have second homes in the US and spend time there during the winter. It certainly complicates their lives. Not something I plan to do.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:24 AM   #38
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I wonder how many Canadian snowbirds actually file an 8840?
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:54 AM   #39
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I traveled to Texas to establish residency sometime around 2008. I have a Texas driver's license and use a Texas mail forwarder address for all of my financial mailings (including Vanguard, Schwab, etc). For several years I was a Perpetual Traveler with no fixed address, but I have a regular residence abroad now and generally visit the US once per year for about a month and never visit Texas. I file my taxes with my address abroad (it's really the only thing that I use my foreign address for ... all other mail goes through Texas).

I was able to renew my Texas Driver's license online around 2014 but around 2020, I am required to renew my Texas Driver' license in person. However, Texas has added a Texas Residency test in order to get a renewal ... presumably in response to the Real ID Federal requirements. I can show them recent bank and credit card mailings to my address, which is technically enough to satisfy the residency requirements, however, you must swear that this is your *residential* address and presumably their computers would flag this (for instance, they did not allow me to register to vote at the mail forwarding address due to it being flagged as a non-residential address). So I don't think I will be able to renew my driver's license. They do make it convenient in that you can renew up to a year early or two years late.

This would really be a problem if I were still a Perpetual Traveler.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:49 AM   #40
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I'm a permanent resident of Florida, recently moved to another county and want to update my driver's license with my new address. It's not that easy to even change your address on the license. I now have all my documents ready to go down to the State Office to get my new driver's license. You must have:
1. Primary ID such as birth certificate, passport or certificate of citizenship.
2. Social Security verification, W-2 form showing SS number, pay stub with SS
number or a 1099 with the SS number.
3. Two proofs of residency, ie, deed, mortgage, Florida voter card, Florida
vehicle registration, current homeowners insurance policy, selective
registration card or a utility hookup order within 60 days, etc.

So, this is not an easy thing to do. I've been getting these papers together since our move in November. Just so you all know, it's not that easy in Florida. I'll also find out how difficult it is to register to vote. I'll bet it's easier.
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