Category Archives: Florida Domicile

Attention Snowbirds!!

Many states are beginning to aggressively challenge the domicile of individuals who claim to no longer live in a state that they have ties too, such as a home or business. Challenges to your domicile status by your former state can eat up time, money and cause emotional destress.

The main reason a state would challenge your domicile status is of course, money. Your former state would like to continue claiming you as a resident and tax you on all of your income; in states suffering from a large deficit this is ever more prevalent.

Domicile disputes can happen to anyone, from a retired couple in their 60s who passed down a family business to their children to former Yankee, Derek Jeter. In both situations the  former New Yorkers were forced to pay back taxes on all of their income to the state of New York because they did not properly declare domicile in Florida.

If they had properly declared Florida domicile they could only have been taxed for income sourced in their previous state.

With The Florida Domicile Handbook you can learn how to properly declare domicile and avoid a potentially costly legal battle and the headache that comes along with having your resident status challenged by your former state.

Benefits of Moving to Florida From a high-tax State

I recently stumbled across an article that articulates the basic thesis of The Florida Domicile Handbook; and this article touches base on many of the things that are explained in-depth in The Florida Domicile Handbook.

Some of these advantages include:
• No Income tax
• An Array of Asset Protection
• Healthy Real Estate Market
• Homestead Exemption
• No State Estate Tax

One of the key takeaways from this article and the book is that the process of declaring domicile in Florida can make your life more enjoyable all across the board. The weather provides year-round access to the outdoors and endless opportunity for recreation, the vibrant wildlife and beautiful scenery can be found no where else in the world and the tax codes help keep a little more money in your pocket. Click here to read the article, and pick up your copy of The Florida Domicile Handbook for a step by step guide of your move to paradise.


Wheaton Wealth Partners Establishes a Year Round Office in Naples, FL

Free Book with Consult

Free Book with Consult

After five years of maintaining a seasonal office in Southwest Florida, we are excited to announce a full time Wheaton Wealth Partners office in Naples. Our partner, Rob O’Dell, and his family have made the decision to relocate to Florida.

Rob has contributed to the third edition of The Florida Domicile Handbook: Vital Information for New Florida Residents. If you are considering Florida residency, schedule a complimentary InsightMap Preview Meeting. As a thank you, we will provide you with a free copy of The Florida Domicile Handbook

Lovebug Season

The saying goes “April showers bring May flowers” however in Florida, April showers bring May lovebug season. Lovebug season occurs twice a year, May and September, and lasts about four weeks. This is when the bugs mate and can be seen attached to one another. Take a stroll through a Florida park on a hot sunny day between the hours of 10am and 6pm and you will most likely be greeted by these harmless creatures.

Purchase a copy of The Florida Domicile Handbook, 3rd Edition to learn more interesting facts about Florida and why relocating to Florida is the right choice for you!

Registering and Obtaining a Title for your Boat

Summer time is quickly approaching and with Florida being a peninsula, many residents are also boat owners. If you own and operate a motorboat (or any non-motor-powered vessel longer than sixteen feet) on Florida’s public waterways, you must register it at the local county tax collector’s office.

When you purchase a boat, either new or used, you have thirty days to apply for registration and title through the county tax collector’s office. During this grace period, you must keep a bill of sale with proof of the date of purchase aboard the watercraft. Operation of an unregistered vessel after thirty days is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Applications for watercraft registration and title certificates must be filed by the vessel owner with the county tax collector’s office either in the county where the watercraft is located or in the county where the vessel owner resides.

Unless a vessel is exempt from titling, it must be titled at the same time it is registered. Both actions can be accomplished by completing Form HSMV 82040 (available from your local tax collector’s office). Along with the completed form, a manufacturer’s statement of origin, or its equivalent, must be submitted with the applicable registration fees.

In addition, if the sales tax on the total purchase price of the vessel has not already been paid, the owner must pay the tax in Florida. If the sales tax has been paid, then the vessel owner must provide the county tax collector with a valid receipt indicating where the sales tax was paid and that it was paid in an amount equal to or greater than the applicable Florida sales tax.

Steps to Changing your Domicile

To become domiciled in Florida, you must subjectively intend to become domiciled in Florida. Because it is impossible to conclusively determine a person’s subjective intent, courts that have been called upon to determine a person’s true intent have identified objective indicators of intent. While there is no “official” list of actions required to objectively indicate your subjective intent to become domiciled in Florida, the following actions have been identified in various court cases as being objective indicators of a person’s intent to become domiciled in Florida.

  • File a declaration of domicile with the Clerk of Courts in the Florida county where you now reside. See sample form in Appendix B1. While a declaration of domicile is not required by Florida, it is a clear indicator of your intent to change your domicile as of the date of the declaration and provides documentary proof of your intent that can be given to others who request such proof. For example, we recommend that a copy of the declaration of domicile be attached to your final income tax return for your former state.
  • Spend as much time in Florida as is practical (preferably more than 180 days per year) and own or lease and occupy a residence in Florida.
  • Register and license your cars, boats and other vehicles in Florida. See Chapter 7.
  • Register to vote in Florida and notify the voting registrar in your former state to remove your name from its voting records.
  • File a final income tax return in the state where you were formerly domiciled, mark it as your “final return” and reference a copy of your declaration of domicile attached as an exhibit to the return, and notify the taxing authority of your change of domicile. If you continue to receive income from a source in your former state (e.g., rental income generated by real estate located in your former state), you may be required to file a “nonresident” income tax return.
  • Establish relationships with Florida attorneys, doctors, accountants, financial planners, trust officers and insurance agents.
  • Transfer financial assets (e.g., securities, bank accounts and brokerage accounts) to institutions in Florida or to financial institutions that maintain offices and do business in Florida.
  • Maintain a safe deposit box in Florida rather than in your former state (based on at least one court case, this could be a small but crucial factor in determining your domicile).
  • When completing registration cards at hotels, use your Florida address.
  • If you return to your northern state to fish or hunt, purchase a non-resident fishing or hunting license for that purpose.
  • Use your Florida address for all correspondence.
  • If you end up in a nursing home in another state (i.e., after a lengthy illness), be sure to have your family list Florida as your home address.

Split Domicile

I was asked by Naples Daily News to discuss split domicile today and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all…

EMKatNDNSome prospective Florida residents feel that splitting domicile between themselves and a spouse will allow them to have the best of both worlds. While there are circumstances that could call for splitting domicile, it is generally not advisable. Most people who would like to split domicile are interested in doing so in order to claim a homestead exemption in both states. However, Florida will not allow you to retain your Florida homestead exemption if your spouse is claiming a homestead exemption in another state.
Furthermore, a split domicile raises other important issues. For example, some states require a married couple to file a joint state income tax return if the couple files a joint federal income tax return. In addition, depending on your timing, a split domicile may limit the amount of your total federal capital gain exclusion (from $500,000 to $250,000) for the sale of a principal residence after one spouse changes his or her domicile.
If the reason for considering a split domicile is because you and your spouse spend substantial portions of the year apart and obtaining two property tax homestead exemptions is not a motivating factor, be sure to consult with a Florida attorney and carefully consider the potential advantages and disadvantages.


Registering to Vote in Florida

You may vote in any Florida election that applies to your Florida city or county if you are registered to vote. To register, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America.
  • Be a Florida resident.
  • Be eighteen years old (you may preregister if you are seventeen).
  • Not have been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state.
  • Not have been convicted of a felony without your civil rights having been restored.
  • Have a current and valid Florida driver license number or Florida identification card number. If you don’t have either, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.

How to Register:

You can register to vote at your local county supervisor of elections office. Alternatively, you can register at any Florida driver license office. A driver license examiner will ask you if you would like to apply for voter registration or change your address or party affiliation and provide you with an application of registration at the time you receive your license. Your voter registration application is then forwarded to your local county supervisor of elections office. Your official registration card will be mailed to you by your local county supervisor of elections office.

You may apply for voter registration online by downloading the form at Simply fill out, print and sign the online Florida voter registration application form. Using the address provided, mail the application to your county supervisor of elections or hand-deliver the signed form to a Florida driver license office, a voter registration agency, an armed forces recruitment office, the Florida Division of Elections or to any Florida office of the supervisor of elections.

The date your completed application is postmarked or hand-delivered to a voter registration agency will be your registration date. You must be registered at least twenty-nine days before you can vote in an election.

If your application is complete and you qualify as a voter, the supervisor of elections will mail you a voter information card. You may call your county supervisor of elections if you have not received your card within eight weeks or if you have any questions.

Florida is a closed primary state. If you wish to register to vote in a partisan primary election, you must be a registered voter in the party for which the primary is being held. Your Florida application form has a place to make your party preference known. All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote on all ballot questions and issues and for all nonpartisan candidates. Begin the voting process online and:

  • Register to vote in the State of Florida,
  • Change your name or address,
  • Replace your defaced, lost or stolen voter registration card,
  • Register with a political party or change party affiliation,
  • Update your signature.