Did you move to Florida during the pandemic? Well, we see you and want to prepare you with some tips and tricks regarding documenting your move so you can avoid those pesky state taxes.

As someone who lives in Florida, it’s apparent that everybody is moving here. We keep joking; there’s no one left in New York, there’s one left in California. Well, it doesn’t just seem that way. So, according to a Pew Charitable Trust Report, 241,000 people moved to the sunshine state in the last decade alone, and it’s increasing since the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s crazy how many people are moving here, and there are many good reasons to move to Florida. First, we have beautiful weather nearly all the time, we’ll ignore the hurricanes but even those they don’t take all that often so you don’t have to worry about it too much it’s just during the summer. But we’ve got beautiful weather here, we’ve got palm trees. And you know what’s great is that we don’t have any income tax, and that’s possibly one of the big draws of moving to Florida.

We know that some states during the pandemic are a lot more locked down, not a lot open, economic-wise, and schools and things like that. And not that we’re perfect in Florida, but we are very open. So it’s been an enormous appeal for people to come down, experience great weather, experience a bit more freedom even during a pandemic, and enjoy the luxury of not paying income tax. But don’t think those states you’re leaving don’t realize that you’re leaving and that you’re taking your income and your taxes with you. So super, super important, if you’re going to move to Florida, especially if you’re coming from a high-income tax state like New York, New Jersey, California, any of those states around Washington, DC you, really, really want to make sure that you properly document your move. Because otherwise, those states are going to be desperate to get your tax dollars are going to come to you and say, “We don’t think you moved. Prove that you moved.” And then it’s going to be a burden on you to show that yeah, actually I did move, and here’s how I’m going to prove it.

So here are some tips on how you can prove that. Number one, move your driver’s license. It seems like a little thing but moves your driver’s license; it shows residency. So yeah, you can give up your New York license and get your Florida license. And related to that, register your car here. If you’re driving around with New York plates for three years, New York’s not going to buy that you didn’t leave. They’re going to use that as a point of contention to say, “You’re still a resident.” Bank accounts, yeah there’s a lot of national banks like Bank of America, Chase, and all these banks that are all over the country, but you could come into a physical branch and develop relationships there at those branches, make a local branch the go-to place that you’re doing business.

Those are just a couple examples of things that you can do to prove your Florida residency, so New York and California don’t come knocking down the line when you’ve been gone for two years, and they’re like, “Hey, by the way, we want to tax you on everything since you left.” So yes, you’re welcome to Florida; enjoy everything our state has to offer, but make sure you protect yourself and your wallet by documenting your move here. We’ll see you next time. Also, check out my blog post on how to use your moving expenses as tax deductions.