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At Wealth Health, LLC, many of our clients have residences in both Ohio and Florida. As attorneys licensed in Ohio and Florida, we understand the differences in laws and taxes between Ohio and Florida so we can help you create a holistic plan to minimize tax liabilities and preserve your wealth.
Ten Points to consider:
The state you are domiciled in can affect the taxes you pay and your estate plan, so it is important to analyze which state you should be domiciled in based on your circumstances and goals. Your domicile is considered to be the state where you intend to return.
Ohio and Florida have both enacted laws to help determine where you are actually domiciled. The starting point in this determination is where you say you are domiciled. Although this factor is taken into consideration, your actions will further determine your place of domicile. Your actions are viewed in two different ways to form a totality of the circumstances analysis:
1) a statutory test 2) by a preponderance of the evidence.
The statutory tests:
Ohio looks to ORC Section 5747.24 to determine domicile. As of January 1, 2018, the statute was revised to reinstate the bright-line domiciliary test for Ohio income tax purposes. This law states that an individual is presumed to NOT be an Ohio resident for tax purposes of the individual files an Affidavit of Non-Ohio Residency on or before the 15th day of October verifying, under penalty of perjury, that the individual meets the following requirements:
Note that if an individual does not meet one or more of these bright-line tests, it does not preclude the individual from being a non-resident, but it does mean that the presumption of non-Ohio domicile is lost. The taxpayer would then have the burden to prove otherwise.
Florida looks to its Code section 222.17 for its laws on determining domicile. The primary method under Florida law to establish your domicile is to file a Declaration of Domicile form with the Clerk of Court in the county where you reside. In Florida Code section 198.015 regarding Estate Tax it says, “For the purposes of this chapter, every person shall be presumed to have died a resident and not a nonresident of the state (a) If such person has dwelt or lodged in the state during and for the greater part of any period of 12 consecutive months in the 24 months next preceding death.”
This test often turns on your answer to the question, “Where do you intend to be domiciled?”. In other words, Where do the facts and circumstances of your actions show that you intend to be domiciled? In Ohio, the most important factor is where you spend your time. In Florida, the most important factor is whether the Declaration of Domicile form is filed.
So, the question becomes, how do you change your domicile to Florida?
Although there is no definitive way to change your domicile, at a minimum you should do the following: