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Establishing a full-timing “home state” for taxes

By Neil Seidler, CPA, CMA
TAX CORNER

Dear Neil,
We are currently in the process of selling our sticks-and-bricks home to become full-time RVers. What should we know about establishing a “home” state for taxes, vehicle registration, insurance, etc.?

Neil’s reply:
There are several factors to consider including state income taxes, vehicle registration costs, health insurance and other insurance issues. Some states popular with full-time RVers are Texas, Nevada, Florida and South Dakota because they all have no state income tax and have generally lower vehicle registration and insurance fees. You’ll need to spend some time in the state you choose in order to get a state driver’s license, register your vehicles, and complete any other paperwork required.

A Post Office Box cannot be used as an official residence location; you need to have a physical street or PMB (Private Mailbox) address (see related video). Do you have children or another relative living somewhere that you can use their address? Do you own an RV lot at one of the ownership RV parks that you can use as your “home base”? Alternatively, there are several mail forwarding services and other organizations that will give you a street address so that you can use it as your official residence and who will forward your mail to you as you direct them.

The material presented here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to
provide, and should not be relied on for tax, accounting or legal advice. Readers should
consult their own tax, accounting, and legal advisors to discuss their own personal
matters.

Neil Seidler CPA, CMA, has served businesses and individuals across the USA and Canada for 35 years. As an avid RVer and recent full-timer, he has a unique perspective on RV tax issues.

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Paul S Goldberg
2 months ago

My recent experience using the Escapees Livingston TX PMB is it works for MOST things. Generally I cannot open an account with a new financial institution using that PMB. The Patriot act, or what remains of it, blocks the use of PMBs by most such institutions. That aside I have been quite happy with Escapee Mail service.

Sharon B
2 months ago

I use the Escapees Domicile in Bushnell Fla. It was easy since that was my home state until I sold my house in Miami. The only issue I have with the Livingston address that is for friends and non government items is that my health insurance cost went up since it is a Texas address. It was cheaper in Fla so I now use the Bushnell address instead. However, that address is to be used for government items only, but hopefully I can use it until I am told I can’t use it anymore for health insurance. That is the only bark I have about the Livingston address. Just wish all the mail went to Fla.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sharon B
John and Joyce Klein
2 months ago

We use a variety of locations. Our official domicile is now South Dakota simply to avoid state income tax. We use America’s Mailbox. Our vechiles are all registered in a LLC in Montana. RV plates/registration is one time only. South Dakota did not require we register vehicles/RV in their state, so Drivers License was easy to get. We are workamplers and travel alot so we usually have a local post office box but Escapees Mail Service is our offical billing address for all our purchase, magazines, etc. Once we arrive at a location and get set up, all the mail forwarded to Escapees is then sent to us weekly until we move on. It seems to work well for us. We had previously moved our AZ adddress to Montana while we worked there for 4 seasons. Then we moved onto AK, but MT still took a sizeable hunk of our earned income, so we we found a workamper job in SD we moved our residence.

rvgrandma
2 months ago

I have always used one of my family for resident address then get a mail forwarding service. Never had a problem.

Judy G
2 months ago

One option would be South Dakota. It was my home base for over 10 years. Having picked a campground with a street address, I typically spent one to two months there per year. In a smaller town vehicle registration, voting registration were easy. Then spending winters in the Southwest, I could renew license plates, vote absentee, etc.

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