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Readers Respond: Would You Move to Minimize or Avoid Taxes?

Responses: 30


Do people really move to a new state to avoid taxes? I say yes because during my 10 years of experience as an estate planning attorney in Florida, I'm going to estimate that at least half of my clients have changed their primary residence from a state that collects an income tax and/or an estate or inheritance tax - such as Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio or Pennsylvania - to Florida, which doesn't collect an income tax, an estate tax or an inheritance tax.

For information about the types of taxes collected in each state and the District of Columbia, refer to the State Tax Chart.

For a list of states that currently collect an estate tax, refer to the State Estate Tax and Exemption Chart.

For a list of states that currently collect an inheritance tax, refer to the State Inheritance Tax Chart.

For information about becoming a Florida resident, refer to How to Become a Florida Resident, Officially.

So what about you, would you consider moving to avoid state income taxes, estate taxes or inheritance taxes? Or how about expatriating from the U.S. in order to avoid federal taxes? Share Your Opinion

in a heart beat

if Michigan had an estate tax I would move to a non estate tax state. Governments waste 50% of tax dollars. What we need is for some state to leave the union. Then watch the dynamic.
—Guest herman


yes I would. I'm not all that wealthy,however, I do have some assets that I would want my kids to get ,not the gov
—Guest Michael proveaux

Tangible Property Washington State

If you live in Washington State but own real estate in another state, is that property considered "tangible" property for estate purposes in Washington State?

New Jersey taxes

New Jersey tax laws are some of the highest in the nation. On top of federal estate tax we have NJ inheritance tax and NJ estate tax. Not to mention high New Jersey real estate taxes. Time to move.
—Guest Pat

Texas here I come

In spite of my daughter and only child's threat to disown me, I plan to move from MA to TX. She will eventually thank me especially after she has to go to TX to get it. I plan on making that a stipulation in my will.
—Guest Bob

oh yes

if you had two kids one saved and one spent every penny it had as fast as it could get it on junk who would u leave your money too move in a heartbeat especially if it was next door
—Guest tony

I Did

I moved to Texas to avoid state income tax. That is all I have to say except that it was worth it.
—Guest tyamethyst

Kudos and the pain of a QPRT.

Firstly, want to add to others that this site is superb; thank you. Secondly, live in California and got boondogled into a QPRT on the primary residence. Just to let others know that there are so many moving parts with this once it expires that it may only result in a heartache. Buyer beware was never so true.....



J. Smith

I am going to move to a non taxing state. I have been a tax paying peaceable citizen my whole life, and I'll be damned if I give another cent dead or not, to the state upon my demise..........This money has already been taxed at the time it was earned.
—Guest Julianne Smith

What about snowbirds?

Darrell, I am a snowbird and spend 8 months in Florida and 4 months in Illinois, so it works for me!
—Guest Susan the Snowbird


There are some cases where moving may pay off. But in MOST cases, the cost of selling one's home at today's lower prices - plus the move itself - plus the emotional price of leaving friends behind - actually moving, physically, is a VERY costly - well - move! Some of the people who are moving to save estate tax, are spending dollars to save dimes. In many (most) cases, a well designed estate and/or business-continuation plan may not avoid the tax - but can significantly reduce the estate tax liability. Physically moving from one state to another simply to avoid estate tax, is a mear-axe option.
—Guest Darrell

The only tax you choose to pay

I don't fully understand the lengthy debate. You can avoid the estate tax all together with a properly drafted and funded irrevocable trust. The same trust will avoid probate and qualify you for medicaid benefits. Watch this video: http://www.ultratrust.com/revocable-trusts-vs-irrevocable-trusts.html

Virginia to Florida - For Tax Avoidance

Bells Yes .. We are making plans to move to Florida in 2011 which was based entirely on tax decisions. Our Fed Gov retirement pensions are not taxed by the State of Florida, as well as no Inheritance Taxes against our children. It's sunshine, piña coladas, and pool time.
—Guest Kay

Estate planning professionals

If you want to make sure you hire a guru estate planner, go to www.actec.org. This organization only allows seasoned attorneys to join by invitation. Also, to protect your wealth, the affluent should consider an asset-protection trust situated in the Cook Islands to be integrated with their estate plan. I'd refer you to Barry Engel in Denver CO or Howard Rosen in Coral Gables FL for these services. The article was good, but it did omit some basic "estate freeze" options to keep appreciating assets from increasing the tax bite (e.g., Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, etc.). I think it would be best for our country to eliminate the estate tax because it kills the importation of investment and job creation from wealthy foreign entrepreneurs and with no estate tax (and no step-up in tax-cost basis), the IRS could tax all inherited stock portfolios at capital gains rates with a zero cost basis thereby increasing overall revenue to the government (without killing family businesses).
—Guest Robert Pullis, JD LLM

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Would You Move to Minimize or Avoid Taxes?

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