John Bullis: Where do you live? |

John Bullis: Where do you live?

John R. Bullis

The legal term “Domicile” is the place you treat as your primary and permanent home, where you intend to return to if you’re working or living temporarily in another state. Being in another state for medical or educational or vacation reasons don’t count to determining your domicile.

Even as a Nevada citizen, I must pay tax to California or some other state where I have income from working in that state, or I rent or sell real estate in some other state at a profit. They want a tax on income earned within their boundaries.

There are many tax cases that show how important it is to be able to document and prove your domicile.

Each of us has only one domicile. It changes when you abandon it in one state and establish it in another state. Many states have a general rule, but determination of domicile depends on many factors and no single factor determines your domicile.

Some of the facts or factors that are considered important to proving domicile include where you spend most of your time, where you vote, what bank accounts you have, your driver’s license, where you conduct business, where your vehicles are registered, your professional licenses, what doctors you visit, your advisers and the clubs you belong to. Your will and/or trust is going to show what state laws are controlling. Even letters to family and friends that show your intent can be helpful.

Different states will presume you’re a resident there if you’re in that state for 183 or more days. That presumption can be overcome by showing your intent with details of the items mentioned above.

It can be important to save certain items that indicate domicile. That could be bank and credit card records, utility bills and other things that show your activities and your presence in the various states.

For wealthy taxpayers, it can be important to keep a log or detailed calendar that shows where you were each day of the year.

Did you hear “Benjamin Franklin pointed out some of the best things to give others are free of cost: to an enemy, forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your ear; to an employee, a good example; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.”

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.