BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 26 LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs — Many retirees who have homes both in a northern state and Florida have changed their official domicile and will vote in Florida on Election Day.
The move to opt for Florida citizenship has been driven in part by the skyrocketing Florida real estate tax assessments, according to Allan R. Lipman, an attorney licensed to practice law in both New York and Florida.
By a Florida Constitutional Amendment enacted in 2002, a 3 percent cap on annual assessments increases was placed on a Florida homestead but not
on homes owned by non-Floridians who have experienced steep increases in
their Florida real estate taxes while a Floridian neighbor has not.
This year, some of Lipman’s clients have complained to him that they
are paying almost twice as much real estate taxes as Floridians who own
identical units in the same condominium.
“To many clients who qualified to do so, it was a ‘no brainer’ to
declare Florida their domicile, vote in Florida and become eligible for the Florida homestead lid on annual assessment increases,” says Lipman.
But that is not all. As Lipman explains in his 35-minute webcast
seminar available at no charge at http://www.snowbirdguide.com, there are
many other advantages as well. Unlike New York and many other northern
states, Florida has no income tax or estate tax. This is especially
attractive to many northern retirees with substantial accounts in their
IRAs or other retirement plans. Although they may have made contributions
to their plans while employed in a northern state, withdrawals can be made
after a change of domicile free of any state income tax.
Another recent change that has motivated a domicile change has been the repeal of the Florida intangible tax. In the past, snowbirds who changed
their domicile to Florida had to pay a tax based upon the market value of
stocks and bonds held on Jan.1. Next year, they will not have to do so. The repeal has provided yet another incentive to retirees with homes in two states to choose Florida citizenship.
Lipman, who has written two books on the subject, has now made updated information available on his website. He addresses ten questions frequently asked by his New York clients who have either changed their domicile to
Florida or anticipate doing so. The website is linked to domicile cases
where auditors have challenged the change of domicile and triggered a
contested audit. High on Lipman’s checklist for those who change their
domicile is to vote in Florida.