Monday, September 29, 2014

Establishing Legal Residency in a New State

  • Locate a place to live in the new state of choice. Purchase a home if you can, although it is not required.  You must spend at least 6 months and 1 day at this new home to claim residency in your new state.  The new state must be your “Domicile” (generally meaning "permanent home").
  • Spend substantial time in the new “home” state during vacations and holidays.
  • Next, establish a home address with the U.S. Postal Service by going to the nearest post office and filing a change of address form.  The new home must be your primary mailing address.
  • Have your important documents transferred to your new home address (insurance, memberships, licenses, etc.).  
  • Obtain a driver's license and car registration in your new home state, or apply for a non-driver's state ID card if you do not drive.
  • Register to vote in your new home state.
  • Register motor vehicles in your new home state and make sure insurance rates are based upon your new state residency.
  • Establish a banking relationship in the new state.
  • Establish new professional relationships such as an accountant, lawyer, dentist and doctor. 
  • Establish social groups and relations in the new home state, such as joining a health club, country club, civic, or business groups.
  • Become a member of a local church.
  • If you have professional licenses, have them transferred to your new state. Do this by contacting the governing board of your occupation in the new state (nurses, physicians, social workers, attorneys, etc.). Temporary licensing can often be granted immediately while you are waiting for the permanent license.
  • Purchase a resident hunting or fishing license in the new home state, and if you continue these sports in your previous state purchase a non-resident license there.
  • If retaining any property in your previous state, make sure it is “non-homestead” (if applicable) property for property tax calculations.

NOTE FOR MINNESOTA RESIDENTS:  Minnesota courts have recently demonstrated in their rulings a reluctance to let the taxpayer establish a residency change while maintaining a “presence” in Minnesota.  The court cases suggest that a complete break with Minnesota must be established in order to evidence a taxpayer’s intent to change residency from Minnesota to another state.  Not all states have been as aggressive as Minnesota in establishing difficult rules to comply with.  Check your home state rules for specific requirements.

IF YOU CHANGE STATES FROM MINNESOTA- RECOMMENDATION:   Stay out of Minnesota (well) over half the year.  OVERDO residency changes related to intent factors!  Keep excellent records!  If you receive a residency audit notice from Minnesota, we recommend you retain a Minnesota tax attorney.

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