President and Mrs. Trump moved to Florida

President Trump signed an affidavit Sept. 27, 2019, that he is changing to be a Florida resident. Melania Trump signed her similar affidavit Oct. 3, 2019, and both items were recorded in Palm Beach County, Florida Oct. 4, 2019.

New York state has a state income tax 8.82% and New York City has an additional income tax of 3.876%. The New York state estate (death) tax rate is 16%. Florida has no state income tax and no estate tax. A Florida resident is still taxable in New York state and city on income earned in New York. They should file non resident income tax returns.

Filing a Florida declaration that shows domicile is only a small factor in proving intent. Probably they have changed their wills, voter registrations, driver licenses, to Florida. Also, they may have amended any Trusts or Power of Attorney documents to show Florida is the state they view as their permanent home (domicile).

They probably will keep track of the days they are in New York state and city. The New York presumption is if you are there 183 days of the year, then you are most likely a citizen of New York. That presumption can be overcome depending on the facts and circumstances. If you are a New York citizen, then all your income from whatever source is taxable for New York. If you are a Florida citizen, then New York tax only applies to New York income.

The Trumps may also take actions to show they do not view New York as their home after the dates on the affidavits or some other dates. Maybe they will get involved in Palm Beach community clubs and events. They might get fishing licenses and transfer various club memberships from New York to Florida chapters.

They will probably try to reduce ties to New York and change banks and advisors to help document their change of domicile.

I’m not sure that the date of the affidavits controls to determine when they changed to being Florida residents. Maybe someday their income tax returns for 2019 will be available to the public and we can see what they declared and signed under penalties of perjury.

I think they could have considered moving from New York several years ago. However, the tax law change that limits itemized deductions for taxes to $10,000 may have been a factor in their decisions.

Did you hear “A 97-year-old man who was turned down for life insurance was indignant. He wrote the company: “You are making a big mistake. If you check your own statistics, you will see that very few men die after 97.”

John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.


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