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Challenge to the legality of you Domicile


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Please no opinion. First had experience only.

I understand that there are those who have had domicile questions arise over state taxes, mostly as a result of working for pay that generated W2 or 1099

 

However I would be interested in any other domicile challenges that you have PERSONALLY been involved in

 

1 who/ what agency challenged you

2 what was the basis of their challenge

3 what action on your part instigated the challenge

4 how did you resolve the issue

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However I would be interested in any other domicile challenges that you have PERSONALLY been involved in

 

1 who/ what agency challenged you

2 what was the basis of their challenge

3 what action on your part instigated the challenge

4 how did you resolve the issue

Would you be willing to share what your intent is? Do you have some sort of legal issue of domicile?

 

While I have done a lot of research on this subject and I have visited with some who have experienced difficulties, I have not had such myself so will honor our point and offer no thoughts.

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1 who/ what agency challenged you

 

State of Arizona.

2 what was the basis of their challenge

 

I paid Arizona property tax but not state income tax.

3 what action on your part instigated the challenge

 

I paid the taxes due on my lot.

4 how did you resolve the issue

 

I had to prove to them that I was a legal resident elsewhere.

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In Florida, I followed the instructions provided on the St. Brendan's Isle mail forwarding service web site and had NO problems at all. The biggest hassle was finding a Notary Public for the Declaration of Domicile form and that was not difficult. I suspect other web sites will also show the necessary steps.

 

The other hassle was that when we obtained our Florida Driver's License, the DMV kept our NY licenses. We had to fill out a form provided by the NYS DMV to get credit for surrendering our NY licenses. When we turned in our NY plates and filled out the aforementioned form we got refunds on unused portions of our registration and driver's license fees. Because we followed the steps outlined, NY also did not give us any problems in making a domicile change.

 

These were all minor hassles, easily gotten around!

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Not sure about technicalities of establishing a domicile and residency. I am sure that I've got to get out from under one of the worst states in the union for retirees.

Personal property taxes on all vehicles we own. RV is a biggie. State income taxes including our pensions and social security. Very high real estate taxes.

We own a spot in Florida and go there for 3-4 months. Our goal is to spend more and more time in Florida but retain our house at home. Not in a financial position to sell house due to poor planning and high mortgage.

Having a Florida address can we at least transfer our vehicles to our Florida address and obtain a Florida drivers license and still be residents of our home state?

Tim

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Having a Florida address can we at least transfer our vehicles to our Florida address and obtain a Florida drivers license and still be residents of our home state?

The answer to this is.............. it just depends. Any vehicle that you leave in FL when you return to your home state can and should be registered and insured in FL. For vehicles you take back "home" with you it is legally required that they be registered there and that same thing is true for your driving licenses. But it might be that you could get by doing so, depending upon the enforcement activity of the officials in your present state. I am not familiar with the laws of CT and how rigidly they enforce them. If you are still employed there it is pretty likely that you would be detected but if retired you might not. Legally, each vehicle should be registered and insured in the state "where garaged" which means where it is kept most of the time if not actually being driven. Driving licenses are usually required to be issued by your state of domicile, but that too can be pretty loose, depending upon the degree of enforcement efforts. In general, you are expected to do those things in the state where you do business and spend the most time, or your state of domicile.

 

What is DOMICILE?

That place in which a man has voluntarily fixed the habitation of himself and family, not for a mere special or temporary purpose, but with the present intention of making a permanent home, until some unexpected event shall occur to induce him to adopt some other permanent home.

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Our biggest challenge has been with brokerage accounts accepting our PMB, and not allowing use to use a 'next of kin' address as provided by the Patriot Act. Charles Schwab has been particularly challenging for me.. which is where my father had his accounts at before he passed. My mom now wants me as a power of attorney on the accounts so I can handle her affairs when her time comes, and Schwab won't allow me on the account without proving I live at a physical address by providing utility bills, etc.

 

Here's the thread I started a couple years ago on the issue, and it's still unresolved (need to get back on that): Charles Schwab Account Verification - Residential Address...

Seems several since then have posted about similar issues with Schwab.

 

- Cherie

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Our biggest challenge has been with brokerage accounts accepting our PMB, and not allowing use to use a 'next of kin' address as provided by the Patriot Act. Charles Schwab has been particularly challenging for me.. which is where my father had his accounts at before he passed. My mom now wants me as a power of attorney on the accounts so I can handle her affairs when her time comes, and Schwab won't allow me on the account without proving I live at a physical address by providing utility bills, etc.

 

Here's the thread I started a couple years ago on the issue, and it's still unresolved (need to get back on that): Charles Schwab Account Verification - Residential Address...

Seems several since then have posted about similar issues with Schwab.

 

- Cherie

As we discussed on a previous thread, I had this nearly-identical problem with Fidelity. After some "discussion" with them they allowed me to send them a copy of my current rental agreement for a lot we were staying on at that time in the North Ranch SKP park. They accepted this as my current address and allowed me to set up the account. I then called them and worked with a rep. to get that address changed to my normal domicile and mailing address in SD. This solved the problem.

 

Perhaps if Schwab won't allow you to use this method you might consider attempting to set up a new account at Fidelity. If it works for you then transfer all your Mother's Schwab accounts to Fidelity. IMO you'll be just as happy with Fidelity as Schwab. I had accounts at Schwab several years ago and moved them all to Fidelity for a couple reasons that probably don't apply to your situation. But in all respects I consider Fidelity is as good as, or better, than Schwab.

 

---ron

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I think I wasn't clear enough in my OP So I'll try again.

Has any state or federal agency forced you to prove your current domicile is legal??

 

Its suggested from time to time that not having a bank account in your state of domicile, or consistently seeing Dr in another state or other types of these actions could make your domicile not legal.

For the life of me, other than tax issues I can't imagine What I could possible do that would have someone cause me a issue??

Are there really "domicile police" in every state looking for me????

I have never seen or heard of first hand experience to this situation

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" Its suggested from time to time that not having a bank account in your state of domicile, or consistently seeing Dr in another state or other types of these actions could make your domicile not legal. "

 

I don't ever recall reading here that either of those, by itself would cause you a problem. Its more that when some other larger issue,(yes its usually tax related), gets you on their radar for an audit, then some of these smaller issues can be used as evidence. Its the folks who push the limits that get involved in most of the disputes, not those who choose an out of state bank or doctor. Its not surprising that very few here have any domicile disputes, this organization and this forum do a good job educating RV folks on whats required, whats allowed. Fulltime travelers have a unique advantage and lots of flexibility in the domicile game. Its the folks with stick & brick houses, or multiple houses, that try to cheat the system, who usually get caught.

 

As far as the domicile police, some states have them and some don't. California is the one I'm familiar with, and the Ca FTB has a special group that concentrates on domicile disputes. Here is a link to a law firm in Palm Springs that deals first hand with domicile dispute cases, and gives some examples. http://www.sangerlaw.com/Articles/THE-PART-TIME-RESIDENT-TAX-TRAP.shtml

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When we changed our domicile to Florida in early 2014, we did not have to do anything with NY other than return our vehicle plates and resign our driver's licenses. Since Florida had kept the licenses when we obtained our Florida DL's we just had to fill out the appropriate form for NY. We also filed a Change of Domicile form, properly notarized, with the appropriate Florida county. We also registered to vote in Florida. NY did not give us any problems at all.

 

To attempt to provide info for the other question, in NY, if you spend more than 180 days in NY you are considered a NY resident for income tax purposes. I suspect Ct. must have similar rules. If you establish your permanent residence and domicile in Florida, and spend less than the required number of days in Ct. the same may apply. You would be considered a visitor to Ct. and simply own a house in Ct. that you have to pay real estate taxes on, similar to anyone else that owns a second residence in a different state from their legal domicile. Just owning a residence does not mean you are a legally domiciled resident of that state.

 

Now, if you are still employed in Ct. the rules may be different. You would have to investigate these things.

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Has any state or federal agency forced you to prove your current domicile is legal??

 

Its suggested from time to time that not having a bank account in your state of domicile, or consistently seeing Dr in another state or other types of these actions could make your domicile not legal.

For the life of me, other than tax issues I can't imagine What I could possible do that would have someone cause me a issue??

I think that you have been reading into discussions some things which are not intended to be there. The term "domicile" is rarely ever mentioned in laws and most states don't have that term in any laws at all. You need to understand that the term is one which comes from our court system and generally is defined only if the issue happens to be taken to a court of law. That can arise from a criminal challenge by a taxing agency or it could be brought by some other person in a civil suit for whatever reason they may have.

 

By far the most common problem comes when someone is leaving one state where taxes are high and enforcement aggressive and that state makes an attempt to continue to collect the revenue that has been paid in the past. Once the person is separated from that tax issue, it is very seldom that the issue arises again. Another problem that RV folks can have is one where they have stayed in a state that has laws about when you must move your vehicle registrations to that state, and some states can be aggressive in that area. While most of us think of that in terms of domicile, that term is seldom part of the actions. Most states have laws stating that if you accept any form of employment that is not clearly temporary or seasonal, you are allowed some fairly short period of time to re-register vehicles in that state. Some states also have laws that spell out a length of time you can be in that state whereupon you must move registrations to their state. While related to domicile, they really are not domicile issues but issues of vehicle taxes and fees.

 

In the research I did when writing the article published in Escapee's magazine, I did find several cases of challenges to domicile. They are very small in number and uncommon, but can be disastrous for the very few who find themselves in court in an attempt to prove a domicile if their business activities are scattered or if not in the state that has been claimed as domicile. Looking through my notes, I found a case where a will was challenged for a deceased fulltimer based upon the issue of where his real domicile was. There was a previous will from the state of origin where the deceased had lived and worked and a newer one from the state where his vehicles were registered & driving license issued. The will was ruled to be invalid and the older copy was upheld. The court involved was in his state of his origin and most of the assets in question were still there.

 

In such suits, every activity or transaction taken by the party in question can be brought into consideration. The one above even looked at what newspapers the deceased was subscribing to and what clubs he kept an active membership in. A court can consider anything which the attorneys involved choose to bring up so long as the judge allows it.

 

Another case that I recall was one of a divorce with a property dispute and it was a very similar situation. Both of these cases did use the term domicile in court rulings and that was the issue in question. There are other issues but they are not at all common. I have actually corresponded with several people who were involved in or had interest in these cases but what was shared was based upon my maintaining the person's privacy and thus I'll not say more.

 

It is quite up to you if you wish to believe what has been discussed or not. Most people do not ever have that sort of problem whether they move everything or not. I suspect that no more than 5% of those who move their vehicle registrations and driving licenses without moving other business relationships, ever have any sort of problem unless it happens from the taxing authority in the state that they are departing. Once that issue is resolved, the degree of risk is pretty small so may well be worth it for most people, but it is a good thing to be informed about what could arise.

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In todays more mobile environment it is becoming more difficult to determine which "elements" of your life might help define domicile - if that is even necessary....as Kirk said above.

 

I'll use myself as an example. We are officially "domiciled" in TX. How would I "prove" that if required, is an issue worth looking at.

 

The general way is to show my banking, life activities (subscriptions, utilities, etc), and vehicle registrations/titles as TX.

 

However, the ONLY things I have that are "TX" are my vehicle registrations. My banking and all other activities are purely electronic with no real "home". Where is Merrill Lynch? It is in the "Internet". Where is Alliant Credit Union? I have no "local" branch that I have a business relationship with. I have no "subscriptions" to magazines....etc. These are now all electronic. If a court WAS to look at all these things to make a determination then only my vehicle registrations and my voting registration would now be relevant. Which, of course, brings up the issue of the Patriot Act enforcement of some businesses. They are not recognizing the mobile environment very effectively. Causing no end of issues for some people, as noted above. You are more likely to run into issues such as this, than pure domicile issues being pursued by a state agency. UNLESS you do not cleanly "leave" your current sticks/bricks state.

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I ran into issues early on. I still work and that puts me in refineries that are Maritime protected. I have to have a TWIC (Transportation Worker Credential). This is Homeland Security. We had to buy an piece of property in Texas to have an acceptable address. All my mail still goes thru Escapees though.

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We did get a opinion from a tax attorney. Our Domicile is Ohio. We pay Ohio State sales tax. We have Ohio registration on all our vehicles. we vote in Ohio.

 

If we work in a State or states that have a state tax we must also pay that tax.

We do not stay out of our Domicile State for more that 6 months.

We see Dr's in other states. We have a bank account in other States.

 

There are domicile police looking for you if you are attempting avoid paying State taxes. If I attempted to claim Florida Domicile to avoid Ohio State tax they (Ohio) will get me.

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I think I wasn't clear enough in my OP So I'll try again.

Has any state or federal agency forced you to prove your current domicile is legal??

 

Its suggested from time to time that not having a bank account in your state of domicile, or consistently seeing Dr in another state or other types of these actions could make your domicile not legal.

For the life of me, other than tax issues I can't imagine What I could possible do that would have someone cause me a issue??

Are there really "domicile police" in every state looking for me????

I have never seen or heard of first hand experience to this situation

Did you read Stan's reply. He had to prove he didn't live in AZ.

 

The second part of your reply, quoted above, seems to be asking for opinions. :unsure:

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We have no domicile issue or problem

 

Kirk. You did suggest on another thread that my comment about using Dr in Pa and not our domicile state of SD could possible be used against us if a situation occured so that's why I started this thread.

 

I understand residency and domicile definition, how they may be interpreted in a court case. We spent good money to have it Be it researched by our attorney prior to engaging in this lifestyle.

I wanted to know if something OTHER than miss handling a tax issue had actually triggered an investigation or legal issue for anyone else.

That's why I asked for first hand experience not an opinion

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The reason I suggest moving your bank accounts is that the bank will send the state tax statements if they are required, agencies depositing to the bank will also send tax statements. You do not want to have anything showing you as having income in a state you are not a resident of if at all possible. That can become an item of interest to the tax collectors when they start scanning their databases and lead to questions you'd rather not have to answer.

 

It just seems silly to risk problems, even if you can easily and clearly show that you were not in violation of the rules, the process is stressful and can lead to unanticipated complications like a lien blocking the sale of your house. If they find against you (right or wrong) they can collect current and back tax, penalties and interest on both. You are fighting a bureaucrat that gets paid for looking busy, a lawyer that gets paid for going to court and a system that isn't particularly well designed to deal with mobile folks. You will be paying your own bills which can be pretty painful, good lawyers aren't cheap.

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Kirk. You did suggest on another thread that my comment about using Dr in Pa and not our domicile state of SD could possible be used against us if a situation occured so that's why I started this thread.

I am very well aware of who you are pointing this at. The article which I wrote for Escapee's magazine was proofed by two attorneys and one of them also assisted me in my research. Because of your stipulation that you only wanted responses from people who it has happened to, I stayed out until you made the second post. I shared two examples from what I learned, but it isn't my place to disclose anything told me by others and I'll not do so nor will I share their names. I suggest that you read the link posted by Jim2 as it supports exactly what I am saying. The risk is low but a court can consider anything that the judge allows and they often do. That example is one done by the state of CA, but it would be little different should someone choose to dispute your true domicile for whatever reason they happen to have. A civil suit can be filed by anyone and for most any reason. Statistically, it isn't likely to happen to you, but only you can know your own personal affairs and who or what might create some issue for a person to feel a need to challenge your state of domicile.

 

Will it ever happen to you? Probably not as only rarely does the issue crop up outside of tax issues but if it should, consider what the examples given in that link have say about what could be used against you. There is a great difference between what could happen and what will happen. The wise person makes sure that he is well informed and then makes a choice according to his risk tolerance.

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Kirk please take a chill pill. I'm not aiming anything at you. I am not questioning your knowledge or experiences. I simply am interested if this has happened to anyone else, what may have sparked it and how they handled it. Again that's why I asked for a first hand experience. I'm not asking you to disclose anybody's else's business.

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Kirk please take a chill pill. I'm not aiming anything at you. I am not questioning your knowledge or experiences.

No offense taken, it just seems as though you are questioning if it is really possible. The answer is that it is very possible but is usually not all that probable. My point is not that it will happen, but only that I consider it important to realize that it could happen. I am not offended but am concerned that you and others realize how serious it can be, if it should happen. The will that I made reference to has a very sad ending.

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