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Nomad Hiker

To Bank or Not to Bank in Domicile State?

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I've read most of the domicile discussions and someone stated they changed their bank to their domicile state. I did read info under the discussion of "What Bank to Use", and from that it does not appear there is a need to have a bank specific to the domicile state. Would there be any reason to have a bank specific to our domicile state? I can't think of a reason there would be, but we are going to be newbies and I want my ducks in a row!

 

Thanks!

Edited by Nomad Hikers

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I don't know why you'd have to bank in your residence state or a bank at all. We haven't used a bank or ATM for 15 years being MI then SD residents. We use Fidelity for investments and a taxable checking account. You can direct pay all your bills too. Almost all of the checks we write are for Passport America parks that will not take a credit card. We haven't had any financial difficulties. If we need cash we get it from Walmart or grocery stores using a debit card. Greg

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Almost all of the checks we write are for Passport America parks that will not take a credit card.

All Passport America campground really like cash. :) That is the only way I pay them.

When you pay by check they have all your bank info. Account number & routing info.

 

Every Type of Check Fraud You Have to Worry About

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If you haven't read this, you may find the linked article from Escapee Magazine to be helpful. There is no legal need to bank in your state of residence or domicile specifically. Very few of us ever have a legal dispute involving the location of our domicile, but if we should then it becomes an issue to be decided by the courts and has no single, specific definition. In such a case the court will look at all of your business transaction locations, as well as just about any other activity that the attorneys on each side can think of to introduce. At some point that court will then rule on what location it is. In the event that you should have such a court case, the more things which take place in the state that you want as domicile, the better the odds of the court agreeing with you. In my years of RV travels and more than a year of research for that article, I have only located a very few RV folks who have ever had their place of domicile challenged, other than an income tax claim from the state which they left to change domicile and that rarely ever goes into court.

 

Where the rub comes is the seriousness of the few cases where this sort of thing could happen. I found one will overturned and another challenged unsuccessfully. I spoke to one person who had a major insurance liability claim disputed based upon a claim that the domicile on the policy was fraudulent, and a few other cases, but those were spread over a very long period of time and took place is different states. My conclusion has been that such things are much like the big lotteries on the likelihood of such a challenge. I have never personally met anyone who had a fulltime domicile challenged, once established. I have been told stories about someone having a tax problem related to banking outside of their claimed domicile, but was unable to verify any of those stories. Banking via the internet is now available where there is no physical bank to visit, so my advice would be to consider a bank in your chosen state of domicile if you are planning to change banks, but not to be concerned if you are happy with your present bank and they have no problems with your fulltime address.

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The reason some suggest having a bank in your state of domicile is that it can be one more tie to that state. If you go into a local branch and set up an account, it may be seen as one way you are making yourself part of that community. The general thought is that people do business in their home communities. As for banking, it may be better or worse, depending on the bank. But, there are many things, such as vehicle insurance, income tax, vehicle registration, and health insurance that are somewhat affected by your home state or domicile state, so there are advantages to making it clear which state you intend to be your home or domicile.

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We were leaving Arizona for South Dakota and Arizona is very aggressive on taxes. We wanted no surprises or grief down the road so we wanted to cut all possible ties but also didn't want to give up a few banking things we'd been grandfathered into, stuff not really state related. The bank told us we couldn't move the accounts to SD, only close and reopen while giving up our grandfathered goodies.

 

Our biggest problem was that we had federal retirement checks coming in and if they were sent to an AZ bank, then AZ would also get notified of our income every tax year. If AZ saw the income notification and no matching tax return they would be on it like a doberman on a T-bone steak. Been there, done that and lost a lot of sleep even though I was not doing anything wrong.

 

We kept our AZ banking accounts that we really wanted BUT we opened new SD accounts for our retirement checks to go to. Did as much as possible using the new accounts instead of the old ones in AZ. We just changed all the address information on the AZ accounts to show SD and hoped for the best. Apparently it was good enough, AZ left us alone for 10 years.

 

Everything you can reasonable do is what I suggest, anything you don't do is a risk at some level if for some reason you attract the tax man's eye.

 

Also why I suggest not moving end of year, instead move Feb to Nov and file a part-year tax form with both states. It may cost you a few bucks but it provides a clean break with your old state.

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We didn't. We kept our accounts with our credit union as everything now days is done electronically anyway. There are even banks that do not even have an actual building. We have had no problems and our credit union( in MI) even put our S Dakota address on our checks when we ordered new. If we do have a questions or problem, we can e-mail (have 1 service person to contact) or call the 800 customer service #, or call our local branch. We have occasionally had a paper check to deposit and don't have a smart phone to do that electronically, so just endorsed "for deposit only" and mailed to them. That doesn't happen often though.

 

We also did our move in Aug because that's what worked for us. We filed a part-year resident tax form for MI.

 

We did obtain our vehicle registrations, voter registration, rv and auto insurance and drivers licenses in our new domicile state. Changed our addresses to S Dakota using a mail forwarding service prior to going to establish residency. One reason --- they do require 2 pieces of mail with your S Dakota address when you go to get your drivers license. By starting the mail service earlier, we had those pieces of mail with the S Dakota address on them. ( I think this is in lieu of utility bills for a house when you live in a home.)

Edited by PETE & PAT

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I don't think anyone cares where you bank. For 35 years we have " banked" in a state we don't live in and opened accounts based on service rather than location. Local banking, ties to the community, is an old fashion thought

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I don't think anyone cares where you bank. For 35 years we have " banked" in a state we don't live in and opened accounts based on service rather than location. Local banking, ties to the community, is an old fashion thought

 

I thought that too until I opened an Arizona bank account using my AZ address while still a resident of Washington (active duty military) and started having my pay check auto-deposited there. Few months later the AZ tax folks sent me a very disturbing letter, gave me a very short suspense to pay up on back taxes or prove I wasn't an AZ resident or else dire consequences would follow.

 

Now in general nobody cares where you bank, I'll agree with that with the exception that if you use an account that could be seen as a state resident's account and have reported income deposited there, you may trigger the tax collectors in that state.

 

Once we had all the paperwork they demanded in their hands the AZ tax folks were a lot nicer, which is how I know how they tagged me as a tax dodger. I had them put a note in my file saying that I would be an AZ resident as of my retirement date and would be filing a part-year tax return in AZ reflecting that.

 

Minor hassle to avoid this issue and while it was easy for me to prove my status when it bit me earlier I would have had a very difficult time satisfying them after our move to SD.

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I guess I don't know where I "bank". I have a Merrill Lynch account, opened in NJ 35 years ago and still use the same broker. I have a Penfed account and I think they are based in VA also, I have an Alliant account(I have no idea where they are based). So where do I bank? Both the Alliant and the Penfed was opened as a basis to get loans. ML is the primary account. Do you bank based on where the physical bank is or based on your mailing address? I would think mailing address but now am not sure any more.

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I guess I don't know where I "bank". I have a Merrill Lynch account, opened in NJ 35 years ago and still use the same broker. I have a Penfed account and I think they are based in VA also, I have an Alliant account(I have no idea where they are based). So where do I bank? Both the Alliant and the Penfed was opened as a basis to get loans. ML is the primary account. Do you bank based on where the physical bank is or based on your mailing address? I would think mailing address but now am not sure any more.

And that is an excellent example why the issue of domicile is not clear for those who have an RV as their only home, since the physical location of that home can be even more clouded. Only a court ruling can define this issue in the event it is ever challenged. Fortunately few, if any of us will ever have that happen.

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 0:27 PM, skp51443 said:

I thought that too until I opened an Arizona bank account using my AZ address while still a resident of Washington (active duty military) and started having my pay check auto-deposited there.  ...  Now in general nobody cares where you bank, I'll agree with that with the exception that if you use an account that could be seen as a state resident's account and have reported income deposited there, you may trigger the tax collectors in that state.

Interesting thread.  Since most financial transactions are done electronically these days, I wouldn't think the physical location of your bank matters.

Also, where you earn your income and where you deposit your income are legally two different things, and should be a case you could easily win in court.  I've never heard of any tax law requiring you to deposit your income in a specific "state-approved" bank account.  From what you posted, it sounds like your problem was actually triggered by the fact you appeared to be using addresses in two different states, which is a common problem with active military personnel. (At least from what I heard from many soldiers when I lived near Ft. Hood.)

When I moved to Texas in 2009, I opened a new account locally, but for the first year also kept open my old Illinois account and continued to use it, too.  I gave the Illinois bank my new Texas address literally on my way out of town.  The state of Illinois never questioned me when I filed my 2009 partial resident taxes from a Texas address but had my Illinois refund auto-deposited into my Illinois account.

Or as a previous poster said, maybe I was just fortunate enough to not "win" the state IRS lottery that year.

 

Cheers,

Ken

Edited by SecondWind

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3 hours ago, SecondWind said:

Interesting thread.  Since most financial transactions are done electronically these days, I wouldn't think the physical location of your bank matters.

 

For most purposes, it really doesn't but the difficulty comes from the fact that the only way to make domicile clear when you are challenged is via a court ruling as that is a legal term and has no specific set of things that determine it. In such a court hearing, evidence can be given by both the challenger and by the subject citizen in an attempt to prove that they are correct. Just about anything can be used to prove the point by each side and often it will include things like newspaper subscriptions, medical appointment locations, banking, church membership, association membership, social contacts and just about anything else that either attorney may think of to prove that you really live in the place they are saying is your domicile. Should a challenge of domicile take place, the more things that can be pointed to in your claimed domicile location, the more probably that the judge will rule in your favor but there is no list of actions which clearly define where that is until a court makes a ruling. Fortunately, most of us never have that experience and probably never will. By far the most common cause of such difficulties comes from the taxing agency that you are leaving because they do not happily give up on a revenue source. 

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While I do have a couple of accounts at a home town bank, the majority of my funds while traveling are through Capital One.  I get 1.5% cash back on the credit card with no surcharge in Canada & a good exchange rate, and a refund of all ATM fees on the checking account.  Good customer service; they answer the phone fast & they speak english! I've never been to one of their banks...

Edited by vermilye

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10 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

For a true full-timer who owns no other home, has anyone had the courts question domicile?  I've never heard of this happening.

 

I have not personally known anyone who has once they are clear of the previous state of domicile. There have been reports on these forums by people who experienced tax issues from their previous state. I did exchange emails with an individual who was the second wife in a case of a new will which was overturned by the courts over the issue of domicile but I have never met her. I also was in contact with an attorney who represented a party in a court case that voiced an insurance claim based upon the issue. It is pretty rare but has happened. 

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1 hour ago, Mark Miller said:

Any thoughts on whether I should use my Florida address or my Texas mail forwarding address on my checks?

Checks don't require a address on them.

Do not put a SSA number on them either.

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1 hour ago, Biker56 said:

Checks don't require a address on them.

Do not put a SSA number on them either.

You aren't required to put meat between the bread either but who would a hamburger with no patty? 
Other than in the mail,  who would accept a check without an address on it?

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