High Tax Exodus to Florida-Thank you Governor Murphy

“Governor Murphy’s plan to raise taxes is a gift for the Florida economy and a nightmare for New Jersey”. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick said this in a statement. “Passing another ill-conceived tax will make out-migration worse. It will also shift the tax burden onto the middle-class when others leave. So what is the High Tax Exodus to Florida?

Complimentary Legal Domicile Consultation with any Purchase

This flood of migration has been exacerbated by the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. A recent analysis by a prominent tax attorney showed a person (or couple) earning $650,000 in ordinary income could save almost $70,000 by moving from New York to Florida.

As a Concierge Business Broker & Realtor I limit my practice to working with individuals and companies seeking a personalized approach to accomplishing their objectives. I work with an Attorney who specialized in establishing a Florida Domicile. This is because this process becomes complex when moving from a high tax state that does not want to lose the tax that you are paying.

I have outlined the basic steps of receiving a Florida Domicile below:

Establishing Yourself as a Floridian

If you live in two different states, file a Declaration of Domicile. Just having a home in Florida technically isn’t enough. Because plenty of “snowbirds” go to Florida just for the winter, a Declaration of Domicile confirms that it is your primary residence. Your signature on this document, once approved, confirms that you now reside in Florida, and that the state is your permanent residence. This is done through the clerk of the circuit court.

  • To get this declaration approved, you need two things: physical presence in Florida and intent. The former is pretty self-explanatory. As for the latter, “intent” can be shown through Buying a Business, employment, having a doctor, being registered to vote, being involved in the community – the list goes on and on, and we’ll discuss many aspects below.
  • Having this means that all your taxes now go to the state of Florida and nowhere else (starting with the next full calendar year, of course). Because Florida has no income, death, or estate tax, this may be a wise move.
File for a homestead exemption.

Florida’s Homestead Law protects any Florida resident from losing his or her home to a creditor or any other lien holder, with the exception of mortgages. Should you have to declare bankruptcy, having a homestead exemption can let you breathe a sigh of relief. You can file this once you have a Declaration of Domicile to your name.

  • It also affects your taxes (for the better). The Florida “Save Our Home” Act says that once qualified for the homestead exemption, the assessed value of your property for tax purposes carries an exemption for the first $50,000 of taxable value for all taxing entities except the school district (which allows a $25,000 exemption). In addition, once qualified, the assessed value for tax purposes cannot rise more than 3% in any given year. That means equity you won’t have to pay on.
Buy a Business or Accept employment.

One of the clearest methods of making it hard to argue legally that you are a resident of any other state is to Buy a Business or accept employment in Florida. With wages coming from Florida and a residence in Florida, no one will question you otherwise!

  • If you are looking to provide intent between two states, this is a good way to do it. Having employment in Florida will add weight to your case should your Declaration of Domicile be in question.

If applicable, enroll your child in a Florida school, public or private. This is a way of showing intent and moving toward veritable Florida residency.

For More information regarding the High Tax Exodus to Florida, contact Edward Sklar.

Robert G. Cotitta

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