(RESOLVED) How Many Days Do You Have To Live In California To Be A Resident?

You may have seen my previous blog post about moving to a new state and establishing a new domicile there 🙈 That is one hurdle to overcome when moving out of state 🔥 Your former state may challenge that you’ve established a domicile in your new state, which means an audit 🔥 Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, you need to continue to regularly track your presence and travels against the 183-Day Rule because, although you’ve successfully established your new domicile, your former state may challenge how much time you’re spending there, whether you’re actually living there. And they can do this for years after you’ve established your new domicile. [1]
A. No. There is a lot of mythology on the internet about the “six-month presumption.” While it’s always better from a residency perspective to spend less time in California, spending more than 6 months in California does not make you a resident. In fact, no one thing will ever make you a resident. The test for legal residency is complex and involves many factors. You can spend more than 6 months in California without becoming a resident, but you should plan carefully to make sure an extended stay plus other contacts don’t result in an audit or unfavorable residency determination. See our article, “The Six-Month Presumption In California Residency Law: Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be“. (last edited 80 days ago by Kea Higginbotham from Luzhou, China) [2]
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You don’t have to be a tax lawyer to know that the way to avoid becoming a resident of California is to spend less than six months in the state during any calendar year. Right? Well, not exactly. The “six-month presumption,” as it’s called, which is mentioned in one form or another in almost every Google search result of California residency rules, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. That’s not to say the amount of time spent in California doesn’t play an important role in determining legal residency. Just the opposite. It’s critical. But the real rule is more complex and has to be understood in the context of how California determines residency. It isn’t by counting days. In fact, relying on the six-month figure as a magical way to avoid California residency can get a taxpayer in tax trouble. (modified by Adam Richardson from Uberlandia, Brazil on December 11, 2020) [3]
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Palmspringstaxandtrustlawyers.com goes on to mention how out-of-state visitors who own vacation homes in California or otherwise spend significant time here on a seasonal basis (traditionally known as “snowbirds” because the season is inevitably winter) are often anxious about their residency status. There’s good reason to be. California rules for determining residency are notoriously difficult to grasp. It’s altogether possible for the innocent actions of a nonresident to trigger a residency audit. And sometimes the audit has a bad outcome, with tax consequences that bite. Let’s go over the basics of how California determines residency for tax purposes. They can be confusing, and sometimes brutal. (emended by Kee Doty on April 12, 2020) [4]

Article References

  1. https://blog.monaeo.com/the-183-day-rule-5-things-to-know-when-establishing-state-residency-and-fighting-audits
  2. https://www.palmspringstaxandtrustlawyers.com/frequently-asked-questions-california-residency-rules/
  3. https://www.palmspringstaxandtrustlawyers.com/six-month-presumption-california-residency-not-cracked/
  4. https://www.palmspringstaxandtrustlawyers.com/g-guidelines-for-determining-residency/
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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