Title 31 FBAR

A “Resident” is a “Resident” is a “Resident” – or Not?

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Who is a “resident”?  What is a “resident”?  This sounds like such a basic question. It is not so simple for tax purposes; nor for other provisions of the law.application for US passport p1

There is the colloquial meaning of resident.  For instance, if Mr. Smith says, “I have been a resident of Montana on my ranch for 30 years”; to what does he refer?  What if Mr. Smith has a house in California (which he has owned for 15 years) and another ranch in Alberta, Canada that he has owned for 45 years.  Is he also a “resident” of Canada and California?

What if he is not a U.S. citizen but holds a particular type of visa, such as lawful permanent residency (an immigrant visa)?  What if he has a non-immigrant visa, such as an E-2 visa?  What if he only spends 4 months a year on his ranch in Montana, of where is he a “resident”?

Is he a “resident” in some or all of these scenarios?   Why is this important in the context of “U.S. expatriation taxation”?FBAR 114 electronic

There are three sources of federal law where it becomes very important, which will be discussed in later posts:

In addition, various states, such as California, Texas and Washington D.C. (actually not a state; but all places I happen to be licensed to practice law) have their own definitions of who are “residents” for income tax and other purposes.  US map

Subsequent posts will discuss the importance of understanding who is a “resident” and the implications under these various laws.

Laymen regularly have an idea of where they are “resident” – but that idea is often very different from definitions of “resident” under federal Titles 31, 26 and 8 and state laws (e.g., Texas, D.C., Florida, California, New York, etc.).

 

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