How Snowbirds Can Establish Residency in Florida for Tax Purposes

Snowbirds in the Sunshine State who want to avoid state income taxes in retirement must satisfy Florida residency requirements.

toy snowbirds on a beach in Florida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shorter days, leafless trees, and frost on the ground are all signs that it's time for "snowbirds" to head south for the winter. And if you're one of the thousands of retirees heading to the Sunshine State for the winter, you may be wondering how to establish residency in Florida so that you can take advantage of the state's tax benefits.

It's well-known that Florida is one of only a handful of states without an income tax. So, if your summer home is in a high-tax state for retirees — e.g., New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, and the like — you can potentially save thousands of dollars each year if you satisfy Florida residency requirements.

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Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.