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October 15, 2016Published Article

South for the winter? Know where you 'reside'

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter

With any luck, we here in Wisconsin will continue to enjoy a beautiful and temperate autumn. Yet, as those of us who stand ready to brave the harsh winter are checking the oil in our snowblowers, the snowbirds among us are servicing their cars and getting ready to “fly” south for the winter. Warmer climates beckon many Wisconsinites, and as they do, a number of considerations come to mind.

The first of these occurs to me as I just finished reading a New York State Tax Court case. The income tax authorities were making a claim that the other party in the case was still a New York resident. The other, a gentleman less than excited to find New York was not quite so willing to let him go, considered himself a Florida resident, at least for state income tax purposes.

The state of New York and the individual went round and round on all the facts and circumstances of his residency, but in the end, he lost the case and will pay taxes and penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to properly establish a Florida residence and abandon his New York tax domicile.

Your state of residence for purposes of income taxes (tax domicile) is a function of many things and not solely how much time you spend in one state or the other. The factors are many and vary from state to state.

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