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Old 12-30-2014, 10:58 AM   #1
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CA residency when accompanying full-time student?

We are selling our Texas home (maintaining Texas residency) and will be traveling in our coach from Texas to California for our daughter to attend Paul Mitchell. She will be living in the coach with us while attending full-time for approximately 12-18 months.

I am the founding member and an employee (software engineer) of my LLC with offices in Texas and Florida - we do not conduct any business with CA; I will not have a CA office but will be working remotely from the coach.

I have vaguely familiarized myself with CA residency determination and am seeking information and guidance from others that have had a similar experience and the implications of being determined to be a resident and subject to the state income tax, etc.

I want to strengthen my position that I am "transitory" as the only reason for being there is to accommodate my student - whom I believe would actually pay non-resident tuition if attending a public university. I'll not be conducting business with CA. Our DL's and auto titles and registrations will continue to be Texas; and all of our points of contact (banking, business, friends, etc.) are in Texas.

Also, any long-term big rig recommendations or stay-aways around Sherman Oaks or within an hours drive?


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Old 12-30-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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Oh, this is rich, almost fell out of my chair. You're a Legal US citizen and you are worried about being legal in Calif. ..... Half the dang state is undocumented (illegal) persons just going as they please and protesting if more isn't given to them. Sorry, didn't mean to jack the thread and turn it into something it's not. But it just struck me as funny. Welcome to Calif.

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Old 12-30-2014, 12:19 PM   #3
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I believe you misunderstood the issue/question. It's not about US citizenship but state residency. I want to ensure I preserve my Texas residency. Sorry I wasn't clearer...
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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So you want your daughter to be a resident for tuition purposes but you, living in the same place for the same period of time, a non resident for tax purposes?
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:44 PM   #5
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That would be a "no"...
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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both non-resident from what I gathered, I have no idea

Originally Posted by wsimpson View Post
That would be a "no"...
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:11 PM   #7
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you asked for opinions, and this is only an opinion, not tax or legal advice.

all the info about your daughters reason for going to Ca is irrelevant to your own residency & tax status. your logic of using your daughters student status as justification to avoid changing your own residency while you live & work fulltime in Ca is flawed. The state of Ca will say you chose to move to the state and remain living & working in our state for an extended duration, therefore you're a resident for tax purposes, regardless of why your daughter is here. The fact that you intend to return to Tx some day does not get you a free pass to live & work here for 18 months. Many of my temp employees were only in Ca for 6 months and they were considered part year tax residents.
Both your earned income and any passive income from investments outside the state will be taxable for the time spent there; even if you're a part year resident for the years you live there.

"Temporary & transitory purposes", does not include living & working in the state fulltime for 18 months.
Temporary & transitory would be driving your daughter to Ca, helping her get settled and then returning to Tx to live & work; and only returning to Ca for short term Holiday & vacation visits.

The fact that your daughter pays "out of state" tuition, just means you didn't live in the state long enough prior to enrolling. It has nothing to do with your residency status after you move to Ca and live & work in Ca for the next 18 months. in fact after you live there for 18 months, you would then qualify for in state tuition.

The only real question is will you stay below their radar, luck out and not get caught. You'll need to be very careful not to piss off any of your Ca neighbors, the Ca FTB has a program that pays rewards to those who turn in tax cheats.

Don't take our word for it, call the Ca FTB, explain your theory about remaining a Tx resident while you live & work in Ca fulltime for 18 months and see if they laugh. The Ca FTB has a well earned rep of being one of the most aggressive at chasing this kind of tax fraud. But Ca is a big state and many do get away with things contrary to their written laws.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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Jim2 is correct.
It makes no difference if you conduct business with CA or not. You are still earning $$ while in CA and that is what matters so you will owe CA income tax. You are also liable for registration ov your vehicles in CA after a specified time
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:56 PM   #9
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Jim2 - on point and excellent opinion. I too understand that CA takes a rather aggressive, proactive, and beneficial position on the issue. The determination of "temporary and transitory" is the challenging point of discussion. I understand it is somewhat subjective - just preliminary research in an attempt to become well-informed. Dons2346 - thanks also.

Interested in other's opinions and in particular, any RV'ers that have been thru this determination process and their respective experience...
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:18 PM   #10
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We are now South Dakotan Domiciled. We retained our old Sticks & Bricks for a vacation home, and also my MIL lives in the home year round. We are retired, but have some California generated income from a rental property. We stay out of the state for over 6 months a year. Usually going off for a few months, then back to the vacation home to check on MIL. We will file a 540NR (Non Residency) for the income from the rental property.

I mentioned the 6 months, as if you are out of state for a total of over 6 months, it makes you legal as a Non Resident. And yes California has been known to be aggressive on those that are in state for too long. (And yes, I'll agree it is ironic that they are welcoming Illegal Individuals from other countries. Even to the point of now hiring another few thousand DMV to handle a new law to allow Drivers Licenses for those that are Illegal. Amazes me that the State is starving for income, and yet opening the doors for another wave of Illegals from different countries.) Anyways, be sure you understand the ramifications of what you are planning.

Perhaps come at the start and stay several months during the adjustment period. Then get back home, with or without the RV.

Also, be sure to check the timeframe that a US Citizen (again, ironic, not the same rules for Illegal individuals) must be in state in order to obtain In State Residency schooling fees. You may find it is a longer period then you expect.

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Old 12-30-2014, 02:28 PM   #11
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Jim 2 - I sense that this may not be your first rodeo with regards to the OP's questions.....You seem to know what you are talking about!.

Am I correct in assuming that they would have to actually catch him running his business (without him notifying the FTB) while in CA to be breaking the law? Even if they can prove he was in CA, he would have to make money for them to go after him right?

If so, I wonder what all the snowbirds do that come in from other states and are making money (business owner, social security, investment income, etc) while here in CA...technically, should they be claiming income in CA?
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:52 PM   #12
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snowbirds who are retired and not operating a business or earning income in Ca have little to worry about. although as the state got more desperate, they have gone after the dividends & interest of some wealthy Palm Springs seasonal retired visitors.
its more the paid workcampers or seasonal hire folks who are technically tax residents, but frequently get away with it due to their low profile.

It comes down to the Ca FTB determination of your status as either: resident, part year resident or non-resident. a non-resident owes state tax only on income they earned inside Ca, like a professional athlete visiting the state for a one day game gets Ca taxed on that one day proportion of their annual salary. a part year resident owes Ca taxes on ALL their income for the months they were a part year resident, regardless of how or where that income was generated.
keep in mind the Ca FTB has full access to your IRS files and you are required to give them a copy of your IRS tax forms when you file your Ca return.

short term visitors get an exception from filing requirements, but only if their purpose for visiting Ca was "temporary & transitory". any fulltime, continuous stay over 9 months is automatically ruled a resident.
Here is a direct quote from the Ca FTB tax filing instructions:
"You will be presumed to be a California resident for any taxable year in which you spend more than nine months in this state."
Also, they have generally ruled that you are excluded from Temporary & Transitory status if you take paid employment or operate a business for profit within the state.

So the OP has multiple potential violations: one for his basic residency status and the resulting licenses & registrations; one for his personal tax filing status and whether he owes on just earned income or all income; and then there is the status of his business and whether it requires a Ca business license to operate and Ca business taxes, since he does in fact have a Ca office if he operates the business out of his coach while he lives in Ca.

Professional tax & legal advice from experienced Ca experts is called for.

Here are a few additional readings from folks who get paid well for this advice. Their clientele is from a different class, but the same rules apply.

THE PART-TIME RESIDENT TAX TRAP | Sanger & Manes, LLP | Palm Springs, California

A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL (TAX-FREE) SNOWBIRDING | Sanger & Manes, LLP | Palm Springs, California
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
Professional tax & legal advice from experienced Ca experts is called for.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:02 PM   #14
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I just kind of wonder how California will know you are there. Do the RV parks have to report long time residents? Will you have California banking accounts or perhaps because full time will you have power or utility accounts that would bring you to the attention of the tax authorities? Just curious.

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