Are you ready to be a full time “Snowbird”?

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There comes a time when our clients decide to relocate permanently in the state of their choice; often in a warmer locale!  This happens often enough that we thought we would share a checklist for those considering this exciting next phase in their lives. 

Recommended action steps when changing your permanent residency from Illinois to another state:

  • Spend more than 183 days per year in the new state. If you vacation during the year in any other state(s), you should make sure you are not present in Illinois more days than you are present in your new state of residency (even if you are in Illinois less than 183 days).
    • Maintain a log or diary of the days spent in each state (primarily for tax reporting purposes). 
  • Own or rent property in the new state. If renting, the lease should be at least one year.
  • Change address to new state for all personal and financial records.
    • Reflect the new state as your principal residence on all documents no matter how formal or informal.
    • Inform your employer of your change in address.
    • File a Declaration of Domicile with the county clerk’s office in the new state.
    • File a Homestead exemption in the new state. If you continue to maintain a home in Illinois, cancel the homestead exemption. An individual receiving a homestead exemption for Illinois property is presumed to be a resident of Illinois for income tax purposes, according to Illinois tax regulations.
    • Change passport to reflect the new state address.
  • When filing federal and state income tax returns, use the new address as your state of residence.
    • Change address on all accounts that generate year-end tax forms such as 1099s.

  • Apply for a driver’s license in the new state and cancel your Illinois license.
    • Change title and registration of vehicles to the new state and surrender the Illinois registration.
    • If you lease a car, lease from a company in the new state.
    • Switch to insurance policies in the new state since insurance coverages are different in each state.
  • Close Illinois bank accounts and open new bank accounts in the new state. 
  • Open safety deposit box in the new state and close any safe deposit boxes located in Illinois.
  • Register to vote and vote in the new state. Do not vote in Illinois.
  • Establish relationships with medical teams (physician/dentist) in the new state and have your records transferred from Illinois. 
  • Modify your Will and estate planning documents to reflect that you are a resident of the new state. 
  • Join professional and social clubs in the new state. Resign from all professional and social clubs in Illinois or change status to nonresident.
  • Do not make political contributions to candidates in Illinois.
  • Obtain a burial site in the new state.
  • Join local church, synagogue or other religious institution, if you belonged to one in Illinois, resign from them.
  • Move family heirlooms and valuables to the new state.
  • Your spouse and dependents should also be located in your new state of residency. Your spouse should take the same steps to establish residency. Children should be enrolled in schools in your new state of residency.

The above is not an exhaustive list and any taxpayer contemplating changing their state of residency should discuss fully with their tax advisor.

Published February 2024

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