There are many advantages to declaring Florida residency, but how does one go about doing so? Abandoning residency in one state to establish residency in Florida often is a factual question, which is established on a case by case basis.

Some states have adopted laws (which are all different) which impose certain tests to determine whether you remain a resident of that state for tax purposes. Ohio, for example, has apparently passed a law which will allow Ohio to tax you as an Ohio resident (whether or not you have performed many of the below items to establish Florida residency) if you spend more than six months each year in the state.  Curiously, time spent in adjoining cities, such as Richmond, Indiana, appear to count under this law as time spent in Ohio.

There are many things which you should do to assist in establishing Florida residency.  These include:

  • Prepare and file an affidavit of Domicile;
  • If you lived in your Florida residence as of January 1st, you should declare homestead status on that residence;
  • Register to vote in the state of Florida;
  • Place Florida tags and register your automobile in Florida. Obtain a Florida drivers license;
  • Although there is no bright line litmus test as to the amount of time you must spend in the State to become a resident, it would make sense to attempt to stay in Florida for at least six months each year;
  • Declare a Florida affiliation with your social clubs, memberships, churches and other such organizations;
  • The primary address on all of your mail should be your Florida address;
  • Change your legal documents to indicate you are a Florida resident;
  • File a Florida Intangible tax return if you own intangible assets in excess of the taxable amount. File your federal income tax return with the Atlanta office of the IRS, as is required for Florida residents;
  • You should have a primary doctor in the state of Florida. It would be wise to have other service providers such as your attorneys, accountants, and other such service providers in the state of Florida, as that indicates closer ties and nexus to this state;

Certainly, the more ties that you have with the state of Florida, the more it would appear that you are a Florida resident and vice versa with a northern local. As always, check with your own advisors to ensure you are meeting your individual requirements.

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