Dog owners can range from those who pamper their pets with groomers and speciality training to those who consider it a win to get their furry family member out for a walk. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of dog ownership one thing is true: you love your pet. If not, why have one?
This is a well-known truth. Even if not exactly true in your situation, the fact that it is mostly true in society is enough for state taxing authorities to use it during residency audits.
How can my dog play a role in a residency audit?
Part of the analysis is a look at how the taxpayer handles things that are “near and dear” when claiming they have changed their residence. Examples can include family antiques, a stamp collection, and, you guessed it, the family pet.
Does this really happen?
It does in New York. Gregory Blatt, a New York resident, and former CEO of Match.com, serves as an example. New York state taxing authorities claim that the business mogul owed almost $500,000 in state income taxes. Mr. Blatt argued that during the time in question he lived in Dallas, Texas. Evidence to support his claim included a copy of a lease for an apartment in Dallas. New York authorities countered that he also had an apartment in New York.
This continued through many different types of evidence. Back and forth they went — apartment in Texas, apartment in New York, Saab in New York, Porsche in Texas — until Mr. Blatt brought out his last effort. As noted by the court, Mr. Blatt made his effort to change his domicile clear “once his dog moved there.”
The moral of the story: don’t forget the dog. If you plan to re-establish your residence in another state for taxing purposes pack up that dog bed, find a new vet, and bring Fido along for the ride.
This is just one of many fact patterns to take into consideration when building a defense to residency audits. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are familiar with these types of cases and can review your situation to find evidence to help those in similar situations build a case to help establish a change in domicile.