09 Dec Do I have to tell a state I’m moving in or out?
Q. You did a story about whether you have to tell New Jersey that you’re moving to Florida. What about Pennsylvania? What do you have to tell the states?
A. There is no formal notification system that exists to inform the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of your move in or out.
Before you leave any state, you’re going to want to cut all ties. Otherwise, the state will want to continue to tax you as a resident for income tax purposes.
What it comes down to is the concept of domicile, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley, a subsidiary of Peapack-Gladstone Bank, in New Providence.
She said it’s only possible to have one domicile at a time.
“Domicile is largely a matter of intent. This means it’s the place that an individual intends to make his/her permanent home,” Fusillo said. “Mere temporary absences from one’s domicile will change nothing.”
Some of the items looked at to establish domicile include where your bigger home is — the one with most of your possessions — the items you hold near and dear to your heart, she said.
Additional factors looked at are items such as where your regular place of worship is, where your active bank accounts are, where your doctors and other professionals such as accountants and lawyers are, and more.
You get the picture.
Fusillo offered this example.
Let’s say you keep your three-bedroom suburban home in Pennsylvania on a half-acre of land but purchase a condo in Florida. Your annual physical exam is in Pennsylvania and you come up in late March to have your tax return prepared. Chances are if challenged, you would more than likely fail to be able to prove that you successfully moved to Florida, she said.
Statutory residency is another factor.
“This concept says that if you maintain a place of abode in Pennsylvania, regardless of the size or the contents of the home, you will be taxed as a statutory resident if you stay more than 183 days in Pennsylvania,” she said. “The burden will be on you, the taxpayer, to prove your whereabouts and if you cannot, you will lose on audit.”
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This story was originally published on Dec. 9, 2019.
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