A Checklist for Changing Your Domicile

Although it is a person’s subjective intent that establishes changing their domicile, taxing authorities and the courts may place substantial weight on objective factors. However, a list of objective factors does not reduce a domicile determination to a mathematical test. A change of domicile to another state may be challenged even if most of the objective factors items listed below are satisfied.

The following list applies to your new domicile:

  • File for a homestead exemption, if available
  • Obtain a driver’s license and relinquish the former state license
  • Acquire new license plates and relinquish former state license plates
  • Register to vote and actually vote
  • File a nonresident, rather than a resident, former state income tax return if there is former state based income
  • File federal income tax return with IRS Center serving the new state using the new address
  • Transfer safe deposit box contents
  • Open bank and investment accounts
  • Change credit cards to the new address
  • Execute estate planning documents
  • Refer to the new residence in all trusts and other legal documents
  • Affiliate with organizations and consider disaffiliation with former state ones
  • Where feasible, have family gatherings and social activities centered in the new domicile
  • Affiliate with a church or temple
  • Change address on passport to the new address
  • Consider selling business interests in former state
  • Transfer works of art, expensive furniture and heirlooms and retain shipping receipts, if any, as proof of transfer