On March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo signed the New York State on Pause executive order, closing 100% of non-essential businesses statewide.  Since then, New Yorkers have been leaving the state and changing residency from New York to various states.  If you were a New York resident in 2019 and moved out of state in 2020, your change in domicile must be clear and convincing for tax purposes. 

What does clear and convincing mean?  Is changing your license, registration, and where you vote clear and convincing? The answer, perhaps surprising, is no.  To make your change in domicile clear and convincing you must compare the size, value, and nature of your New York residence to size, value, and nature of your newly acquired residence. Next you must compare employment and business connections, the time spent in both locations, physical location of items, and close family ties to both locations.   Only when your primary ties are clearly greater in the new location is a change in domicile clear and convincing. 

If you plan on returning to New York, your domicile has not changed, and you must remain a New York resident.  New York has a robust residency audit program. You should assume New York will beef up its residency programs to ensure they are not missing out on any tax dollars that might be theirs resulting from moving out of New York due to Covid-19.  If you have changed your domicile be sure to keep records of all of the factors discussed above now as typical audits would not commence for  a few years and it may not be possible to obtain the information needed to support domicile case.

Please consult your tax advisor at SobelCo with questions or concerns.