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Old 20-03-2014, 13:55   #16
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Re: Florida Residents

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Florida allows each department to set their own definitions for things. So while the Florida DMV does accept a street mailing address as a "residency", unless you actually reside on the premises at St. B's, you are not necessarily a Florida resident. You are a "wink wink, nudge nudge" resident on paper only, and that's what some tax men would call a sham. Florida prefers to ignore it, and that may be very convenient for folks who actually have no real fixed residency.

Some states, some agencies, allow you to be a 'resident' if you either physically reside someplace, or you have announced your intent to return there and resume your residence at a future date, i.e. after you have sojourned abroad for several years. Others, require your butt to actually be sleeping there for 183 days in the calendar year.

"wink wink nudge nudge" only tends to last so long, enjoy it while it does.
Have been living on my boat for 9 years as a Florida resident using St.B's. My mailing address for the state is St. B's and it is all that is needed. My physical address on my driver's license is my USCG document number and the city that I am currently in.
I am a Florida resident; wink, wink or whatever.
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:17   #17
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Re: Florida Residents

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Have you renewed your driver's license since Florida changed their rules, making all licenses a "DHS Secure ID" and demanding extra proofs? About 3 years ago?
I don't see any way they could, now or previously, use a USCG documentation number as a physical address. I suspect someone confused it with a mailing address. Most states will allow for both.
From their we site Florida Drivers License Identification Requirements
the Florida DMV does not demand or provide any proof of residency status. Look carefully, all they are asking for is proof of a residential address that you are able to use. They make no attempt to determine if you actually reside there, just that it is a residential location and you have some connection there.
There have been plenty of state and federal cases, gone up and down in the various courts, that say just because you receive mail someplace, doesn't make it residential. There were changes a couple of years ago in how UPS Stores and other "mailbox" places provided addresses, in order to skirt or comply with regulations about that. St. Brendan's? I don't say there's anything wrong with an accommodation address, but let's fact it, you don't reside there. Gypsies, vagrants, travelers, folks who do not live in a fixed location? Aren't the same as whaling ship captains, who would eventually come home, if they survived a couple of years at sea.

But if you haven't renewed that license in the few years, you may be in for a surprise. I'm sure you read all about the problems in the local news, when they implemented the new regs. Its all a dog and pony show, but they're running the show.
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:26   #18
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Re: Florida Residents

I updated my license a few years ago when they said that they needed a physical address and not a mailing address. The local at the DMV said that since we were a documented boat that was also registered with the state, I could use my document number as my address.

I just renewed my license with my document number as my address and it is valid until 2022.
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Old 20-03-2014, 15:35   #19
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Re: Florida Residents

When I changed my residence to Florida I was living outside the US. Did the paperwork for and sent it to my old and new state and my employer stopped withholding state tax. I had not been in Florida in the prior 2 years and did not return for 3 years following the change. When the state of Maine got my paperwork they sent me a real nasty letter saying if I ever moved back they would collect the intervening years, bah, good on them...
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Old 20-03-2014, 15:53   #20
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Re: Florida Residents

I live aboard full time and use SBI. I put my SBI address on my license just a couple of months ago. No problem.
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Old 20-03-2014, 16:51   #21
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Re: Florida Residents

Even for a new license, the proof of residential address is selected from a very extensive list and easily provided by those using St. Brendan's. For instance, a boat registration and a bank statement would suffice. There are 20 different types of documents acceptable.
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Old 20-03-2014, 17:26   #22
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Re: Florida Residents

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Hud is correct in correcting you. St. Brendan's Isle does give you a street address and combined with a driver's license, does qualify you for Florida residency. Other states do not work the same. But for Florida, that qualifies you. Your street address is 411 Walnut Street, # (your assigned number), Green Cove Springs, FL. There are a lot of residents at that location. Much like a huge condo building.
You and Hud are correct (we use St. Brendan's but still claim VA as our residence), but it is not Florida that you have to worry about, it's the state you last live in. If that state still considers you a resident because they feel you have not truly "abandoned" your residency status there, then they can/may come after you. Usually, moving to another states is enough to constitute "abandonment" but the St. Brendan's technique can be iffy for obvious reasons.

People will say, "well it worked for me", but unless you've been audited then you really don't know. You've just won the "audit lottery" that's all.
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Old 20-03-2014, 18:34   #23
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Re: Florida Residents

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You and Hud are correct (we use St. Brendan's but still claim VA as our residence), but it is not Florida that you have to worry about, it's the state you last live in. If that state still considers you a resident because they feel you have not truly "abandoned" your residency status there, then they can/may come after you. Usually, moving to another states is enough to constitute "abandonment" but the St. Brendan's technique can be iffy for obvious reasons.

People will say, "well it worked for me", but unless you've been audited then you really don't know. You've just won the "audit lottery" that's all.
Yes, I posted earlier either on this or another thread that there are two sides to it. We took extreme and very definitive steps to quickly show that we had abandoned NC and would not be returning. Driver's license, insurance, voters registration, new home, moved furniture, sold old home, moved cars, resigned jobs in NC immediately so no NC income. Yes, NC would have liked their 7.5%. So it was a matter of a detailed checklist formed with accountant and lawyer and insuring we quickly fulfilled every step.

Keep your home in your old location as a rental property and they may claim you're doing that because you intend to return and since you haven't bought a home in FL it's clear to them. Convincing them a boat is your sole home can take effort and documentation. If you still have income from your old state you're going to potentially have issues. Keep a small condo in your old location and even if you only spend four weeks a year in it, if you don't have a land home in the new location, they'll probably consider you a resident.

We broke all ties basically to our old state and established them in our new. It is even possible for you to be a resident of more than one state due to their conflicting rules.

Oh, and for the record, we were audited with amazing quickness by NC. Audit of 2012 return before the end of 2013. I'm sure it was one tossed to audit quickly by the computer as a resident half the year but 98% of our income attributed to Florida and only 2% to NC and the first half of the year. We held up under audit, but I'm not sure we would have were we living on a boat and using Brendan's. Their contention could have been that we were on an extended vacation.

All I can say is if you're trying to change your residency, make it clear, 100% and distinct, taking the required actions in both the new and the old state. Something as simple as still having a car registered in the old state or remaining a registered voter in the old state and not the new could give you major issues in the event of an audit. You might still eventually win but only after a prolonged battle and much expense. We even went so far as to document our thought process of relocating, when we decided and why, and the steps we went through. Also, the fact that our retirement plans always had us looking for bigger waters, just had previously centered on the TN River rather than the FL coast.
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Old 20-03-2014, 18:39   #24
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Re: Florida Residents

What's so hard? Reading the naysayers makes me question whether the OP has rad the original reply's link to SBI. That's what I'd do FIRST.

Then depending on yor particular situation, go from there.

Good luck, it's all in the planning. The details from the former NC resident makes a LOT of sense. But...here's the but, may NOT be necessary.

BUT (oh, no, not again...) could be.

Your boat, your choice.
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Old 20-03-2014, 21:33   #25
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Re: Florida Residents

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What's so hard? Reading the naysayers makes me question whether the OP has rad the original reply's link to SBI. That's what I'd do FIRST.

Then depending on yor particular situation, go from there.

Good luck, it's all in the planning. The details from the former NC resident makes a LOT of sense. But...here's the but, may NOT be necessary.

BUT (oh, no, not again...) could be.

Your boat, your choice.
First, St. Brendan's has does it many times and they can guide you. Now, what they may have less knowledge of is your situation in your prior state and the tax attitudes of that state. Some states are easy to leave and abandon as residents. Some want to continue to tax you until you prove and convince them they shouldn't or can't.

Some times it's little things too that are annoying or humorous but not serious. Things like renewal notices for car tags or driver's license. Notices your auto insurance was cancelled.
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Old 01-04-2014, 17:29   #26
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Re: Florida Residents

Being from Michigan and happening to spend most of our time in Florida living on the boat, I simply changed my W4 so I no longer paid tax to Michigan. My employer is a Michigan company but I actually work in many different states and Canada. Got a Florida drivers license only because I bought a new truck and sort of had to. Got a bank account in Florida only because but still use my Michigan credit union.

This year Michigan tried to hit me for 7 grand in state tax but I simply refused. I chose to be a Florida resident and as far as I'm concerned that's all it takes. I reside where I choose to reside. End of debate. My accountant handled the state but I wouldn't have paid regardless. I refuse to be punished simply because I no longer own dirt property and pay questionably ethical property taxes. We had sold two Michigan properties when we started sailing. I'd say all of the above was enough to cut ties with the state but that wasn't our intention. Everything we did was a matter of convenience for ourselves. BTW we just used the address of the marina we were at for our drivers license which was in KW at the time. The DHS drivers license is a precursor to the coming Federal ID thing but we simply opted out which was an option last year. You can still get the basic state ID.

I love Michigan and it will always be my final resting place but if I'm not using their services then they aren't going to collect any of my income. I'll renounce my citizenship on principle alone and sail to Campeche first. But it didn't come to that. As a result I'll be buying a condo there in a few months and spending more time there and thus, more money. They will benefit from not persecuting someone. Good state, more income.
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Old 01-04-2014, 19:07   #27
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Re: Florida Residents

My wife and I just completed our Florida residency and DL through St. Brendans last week. Under the advisement of SBI we went to the DMV and Courthouse in Green Cove Springs (as they are used to see the SBI mailing address) rather than a local DMV.

We first completed a domicile form at the courthouse naming SBI as our official domicile with the State. We then went to the DMV and got our drivers licenses with our passports, old licenses, and some bills with the SBI address on them.

We also registered our boat in Florida... no problem.

Took about two hours.
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