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Old 05-16-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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Residency Questions

My wife and I have been on the road for about 5 years but we still own a home in the tax hungry state of CA. Except for this year, we never spend more than 6-8 weeks in CA as we travel in other areas and actually spend more time in NV than we do any other state as we winter there.

My question is regarding establishing residence somewhere other than CA while still keeping our home since we spend little time here and with all taxes increasing rapidly I see no reason to keep this state as my residence. We have the highest Income, sales, and DMV in the nation.

Any suggestions as to what we might do that will pass muster of the bureaucrats in CA.

Nick
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:57 PM   #2
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I owned a condo in CA when I established TX as my residence. Not suggesting that you become a Texan, just as an example. I obtained a address in Tx, Escapees Mail Service, got a drivers license, registered my vehicles and registered to vote. Was also advised to use an instate bank instead of my CA bank. Since I rent out the condo I have to file non-resident tax return and pay tax on the rental income. For a number of years I continued to visit in CA for approx. 3 months per year. That was not long enough to negate my TX residency. My sister and brother-in-law took similar steps in NV. As I recall they used a mail service in Pahrump.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:07 AM   #3
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Establishing residency in another state is usually not a problem. States like Texas and South Dakota make it easy. The trick is getting your old state to let go of you. Many times, your old state will continue to come after you for taxes (like state income tax), especially if your new state doesn't have income tax.

It is perfectly legal to live in one state and own property in another state; but, if the state you own property in is aggressive, they may try to tax you on things other than the property itself. Some states are worse than others. Most advice I have read about residency says to sever as many ties to your old state as possible. Of course, you must transfer vehicle registrations and get new driver's licenses. They also recommend transferring bank accounts to your new state and getting new doctors, wills, etc. Join a church or other place of worship, join civic groups, etc.

Being former residents of Pennsylvania, we are fortunate because PA doesn't tax pensions, Social Security, or the proceeds of IRAs (our 3 sources of income). Therefore, we didn't need to be quite as careful.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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It has also been suggested that you write a letter to the Secretary of State in your previous home state and say: nanna, nanna, nanna, I have moved.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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Others are correct about breaking as many ties with California as you can. I would also file a partial-year return at the end of this year and write "FINAL" across the top.

I assume that your house is being rented out rather than having sat empty for the last 5 years. If so, that makes it investment property, so shouldn't pose a problem. As Dolph indicated, you'll still have to complete a California tax return for the rental income on your California house...as a non-resident.

This would actually be a good time to retain the services of a tax-attorney or CPA knowledgeable in domicile issues to make sure you've crossed all your "T's" and dotted all your "I's" -- you don't want to give California any excuse to come after you.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:56 AM   #6
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You haveto show intent as well as breakinbg ties with your old community...went through the same thing a few years ago.

We changed medical insurance, banks, wills, dl's, reg, etc. and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:21 PM   #7
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I just changed my residency to South Dakota thru mydakotaaddress.com. We are driving up there next month to get drivers licenses. Already have address and license plates for rv and toad. I figure to save around 1500 dollars a year from what I have been paying for taxes, licensing, and so on from Utah.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:33 PM   #8
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As long as everything matches to your new state, all will be fine. By this I mean ALL your addresses (IRS, insurances, voter card, bank statements, vehicle registration, bills-use "mailing address", driver license, state tax, etc. all point to your new state, you are as good as gold. Having things spread out among various states is not showing "intent" and is sure to lead to trouble down the road.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:59 AM   #9
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Probably the best short answer would be;

Do everything you would do if moving to a fixed dwelling in another state.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:38 PM   #10
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We still owned our home in CA when we became fulltimers in 2003. The house was rented so wehad to file non-resident income tax forms until we sold the house in 05.
We chose SD, using Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls as our "home". During the next 2 years, we had 2 attorneys advise us to not only change all the things mentioned above, but to re-do our wills and/or trusts. That way CA can't say it was done as a tax dodge.
Both attorneys also strongly advised against using multimple states i.e. registering vehicles in MT while having another state as your residence.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #11
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We've been full timing for about 5 years. Originally, we had our residency in SD and that worked fine for us. Recently, like last week, we changed to Nevada, mainly for convenience. The regestration on both vehicles are higher in NV but you can deduct it on your Fed. income tax, it's personal property tax, the insurance was lower and the mail service we use is cheaper. I got a $95.00 tax credit on the registration because I'm a vet. this is in Nye county. Each year the registration goes down about 10% due to depreciation. Another advantage we see to NV over SD, is you don't have to drive to SD every 5 years to renew your DL. For some I'm sure that's not a problem.

I still have a bank account in Ohio and she who must be obeyed has one in Colorado. We've never had any problems with multi state banking issues. All of our banking/investments/correspondence are done electronically so we get very little snail mail.

In the long run it costs us about $200.00/year to switch from SD to NV but for us, that's a "convenience charge". We spend our winters in SoCal and go to Quartzsite for a few days in January, if we have to go to NV to do anything, it's a short run up US 95 and over the "Pahrump Hump" to Nye county.

My two cents, hope it helps.

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Old 07-11-2009, 07:34 AM   #12
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The key is showing intent.

In addition to everythign else mentioned, I would recommend changing doctors, making sure that all of your insurance has been changed (life, health in addition to auto) and that if you belong to any CA based organizations -- whether as a volunteer or not -- that these be discontinued. Also, get registered to vote in the new state and any correspondence with state or local governments back to CA shoudl be mailed from your new state.

We made the switch about 3 yrs ago and even though we still own a home in CA (tryign to sell since then) the only problem we've had was to get jury summons from CA even though we notfied the registrar of voters and did everythign else. That took 2 respsones to them to get them to acknowledge that we woudln't/couldn't serve in CA.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:46 PM   #13
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Techie, did you also change your residence to Nevada?

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Old 07-12-2009, 08:09 AM   #14
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Yes. We changed our wills, banks, all mail, insurance, doctors, etc. It's the best way of showing intent as there are no specfics that you can depend upon with CA...only that you are showing intent.

While not necessarily required, we also only stay 1 week max a month in CA while checking on our house that is still for sale.
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