John Bullis: Domicile is important

“Domicile” is the place (state) you chose as your primary and permanent home.

Your domicile can be important to decide what state income taxes you might have to pay.

You can have only one domicile and it changes when you abandon it and establish your new domicile in some other state.

Many facts will help show your intent of choosing to change your domicile. That decision is indicated by many factors, including:

Where you spend most of your time

Where you vote

Your will or trust usually indicates your “home.” If it is not showing your current choice it would be good to get that corrected

What bank accounts you have

Where your vehicles are registered

Your driver’s license

What regular doctors and professionals (attorney, CPA, insurance agent) you have

What clubs and/or organizations you belong to

Hunting and/or fishing licenses

Where you conduct business – but it is OK to have a rental or a business in the old state. You will still need to file a Non-Resident income tax return to report the profit earned in that state. Paying an income tax as a Non-Resident is an indication of your choice of Domicile.

Copies of letters where you told family or friends of your change in domicile, and why.

Also, the date of change in domicile is important. Since it is “in your head,” your actions and facts will help show when you decided the old state is no longer where you intend to return — your home.

California and some other states have a time that is their choice of determining when your domicile changed. 183 days is a kind of default they use, but that can be overcome with the other factors listed above. Presence in the old state might be for medical reasons, vacations, visiting friends and relatives and going to school. Those days are not an indication of your choice of domicile.

Some folks will keep a calendar or log of time in the old state and the reasons you were there.

If you moved to Nevada, you might even start a file that shows your actions that you changed your domicile and when you no longer viewed your old state as your permanent home.

Did you hear “Instead of focusing on that circumstance that you cannot change, focus strongly and powerfully on the circumstances that you can.” Paul J. Meyer


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