To enjoy the tax and other benefits available to Florida residents, you will need to become a Florida resident and make Florida your designated domicile.
Becoming a resident of Florida is not as simple as just purchasing a house or or other property in Florida, as you must demonstrate a clear intent to make Florida your state of residency.
Below are several steps you can take to demonstrate your intent, and while no one step is determinative, the more steps you take the more clear your intent to be deemed a Florida resident.
- Buy Florida Real Estate – Buying real estate in Florida is a good step toward establishing Florida residence, and will be especially true if the real estate is your primary and principal residence.
- File for Florida’s Homestead Tax Exemption – If you own a primary and principal residence in Florida, you can file with the local property appraiser’s office to obtain the Florida homestead tax exemption (See Florida’s Homestead Tax Benefits).
- File a Florida Declaration of Domicile – This is a form that can be found with the local clerk of court or using an attorney. This form will need to be completed and recorded in the official records.
- Live in Florida for Most of the Year – This seems obviously, but the more time you spend in Florida at your residence is helpful to illustrate your intent to be a Florida resident.
- Register to Vote – By registering to vote in the state of Florida, you are continuing to illustrate your intent to benefit and be subject to its laws.
- Obtain a Florida Driver’s License or ID Card – By obtaining a Florida driver’s licenses or ID card, you continue to build on the steps that illustrate an intent to be deemed a Florida resident.
- Update Your Automobile Insurance – By changing and updating your automobile insurance, you illustrate a continued intent to be in the state of Florida with your vehicle.
- File Federal Tax Return in Florida – By including your state of Florida mailing address on your federal tax return, you further evidence Florida as your desired and intended domicile.
- File a Non-Resident Income Tax Return in Your Former State – To the extent you still have income or business activities in your former state, filing a non-resident income tax return in that former state evidences your intent to not be a resident of that former state.
- Join Local Clubs and Faith Groups in Florida – Becoming a member of clubs, faith groups, or other organizations in the state of Florida is another helpful step to illustrate intent to domicile in Florida.
- Create Bank and Credit Accounts and Relationships in Florida – Establishing bank and credit accounts and relationships in Florida are added steps for any argument being made regarding the intent to be a Florida resident.