The New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal affirmed an Administrative Law Judge determination that two taxpayers remained New York residents because the taxpayers did not establish that they had changed their domicile to Florida during the relevant tax years. Because the taxpayers spent “more than 30 but less than 184 days in New York,” the Tribunal looked to whether the taxpayers changed their domicile, as illustrated by their “general habit of life.” Through their representative, an accountant, the taxpayers alleged several actions were taken that would support a change of their domicile to Florida, including: registering to vote in Florida, changing their driver’s licenses, buying a car from a Florida dealer, executing wills in Florida, and moving other “near and dear” personal property, including an antique car collection, to Florida. However, the evidence provided by the taxpayers consisted entirely of a few formal declarations and unsworn, unsubstantiated statements. The Tribunal agreed with the Administrative Law Judge that such evidence should be given little weight and was insufficient to meet the taxpayers’ burden of proof. The Tribunal specifically noted that the evidentiary burden to establish the taxpayers’ intent to change their domicile to Florida could not be met without sworn statements or testimony to establish the veracity and significance of the other evidence that had been submitted.
Matter of Thomas A. & Jean Boniface, DTA No. 829018 (N.Y.S. Tax App. Trib., June 30, 2022).