Are you thinking of moving to Florida but don't want to live there year-round? Do you have a vacation home in another area of the country, say the Mid-Atlantic states, that you like to live at during the summer months? If so, you can become a snowbird. Snowbirds are people who live in Florida for the warmth during the winter and then live elsewhere during the summer. So, how do you become a legal snowbird in Florida?
There is a six-plus-one rule that all snowbirds who want tax advantages follow when living in Florida. If you want to pay zero income tax you need to live in Florida for a period of six months and one day. You will also be eligible for zero taxes on your Social Security, estate, investment earnings and in some instances, inheritance.
There is no work around when it comes to this rule, so don't try to cheat the system. You must physically live in the state for six months and one day and be able to document that you did so in order to receive these tax benefits.
If you choose to try this method, you need to notify your old state that you moved, file a Florida declaration of domicile, update all of your addresses on legal and financial documents to reflect your Florida address, establish voting rights in Florida and move your financial relationships to Florida.
Becoming a snowbird doesn't take much in Fort Lauderdale. Simply follow the six-plus-one rule and remain in the state for six months and one day to gain tax advantages and become a legitimate snowbird.