Before You Move To Florida…

“Need to Know” Tax and Legal Matters Related to Florida Residency

Welcome to Sunny Florida! This time of year, thousands of people across the Northern Hemisphere from New York to London to Moscow dream of buying a house in the Miami area and making Florida their home.

The attorneys of South Florida Law PLLC specialize in business and real estate law and advise those from outside of Florida on what to expect when they arrive. Here are two lists of uniquely Floridian legal and financial matters, both the attractions and the pitfalls, that everyone should know before they settle in the South Florida area.

It’s important to note that this article covers general topics that apply at the time of writing to specific situations that vary from case to case. Because real estate, tax and legal issues are complex, it is essential that you consult a lawyer before making any decisions.

The Advantages

Whether you are considering a move from another US state or from as far away as Russia, for many the advantages of coming to Florida outweigh the risks.   Here is a list of four of the most-cited legal and tax attractions that potential Florida residents need to know.

1. Non-residents Can Form a Company

The procedure for a foreign citizen to form a company in the United States is the same as for a US resident. It is not necessary to be a US citizen or to have a green card to own a corporation or limited liability company formed in Florida.

2. No State Income Tax

Florida is a US state that does not collect individual income tax. While residents still have Federal income tax liabilities, the reduced tax burden makes it one of the most attractive US states for those looking for lower tax jurisdictions.

3. Property Tax Appeals

In Florida, all property-owning residents have a right to appeal their property taxes. The deadlines to appeal your real estate taxes vary by Florida county, ranging from September 2 to 18.

4. The Homestead Tax Exemption

In the state of Florida, a $25,000 property tax exemption is applied to the first $50,000 of your property’s assessed value if your property is your permanent residence and you owned the property on January 1 of the tax year.

“… thousands of people from New York to London to Moscow dream of buying a house in the Miami area.”

Florida Pitfalls

There are, however, many circumstances where some of the advantages might not apply.  Here are three legal and tax matters that potential Florida residents need to be aware of.

  1. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and Corporations do not qualify for the Homestead Tax Exemption in Florida
  2. If you rent out a homestead property for more than 30 days for two consecutive years or for more than six months you lose your homestead exemption.
  3. Foreign Nationals who sell a commercial or residential property in Florida are required to withhold (for tax purposes) 15% of the amount realized on the sale

It is important to hire a local business and real estate attorney to ensure that you can take advantage of the legal and tax benefits while avoiding the pitfalls. A skilled lawyer can also advise you on how to navigate your move to Florida, potentially saving you significant amounts of money in fines, liens and interest. If you are considering making Florida your primary or secondary home, contact the attorneys of South Florida Law, PLLC today at 954 900-8885.

Burton Landau Esq. is the founding partner of South Florida Law, PLLC and is an experienced Florida real estate attorney. He and his team have successfully drafted and reviewed important real estate documentation on behalf of businesses and individuals who own or are buying properties in the State of Florida. Whenever disputes have occurred, Mr. Landau has aggressively protected the property rights of individuals, businesses and housing associations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and other counties in Florida. Mr. Landau is fluent in Russian and, as a Russian-speaking lawyer, is a respected attorney to businesses and individuals in South Florida’s influential Russian-speaking community.

 

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