The Sunshine State Is a Tax-Free Paradise for the Rich and Famous

January 10, 2020
Rich by Beach
outdoor cafe against the background of the city wharf. See Less By Fxquadro - Adobe Stock

When you fantasize about your million-dollar dream home, put some palm trees in the background. Florida is no longer just for the retirees: Rich homeowners—we’re talking millionaires and billionaires—can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by ditching New York and moving to the Sunshine State, which has no income or estate taxes. And the wealthy are catching on as President Donald Trump and other high-profile executives plan to make Florida their primary residence, if they haven’t already. Freedom from taxes is such a large draw that some will pay up to 11 million to grab an oceanfront property to enjoy their new savings by the beach. 

There’s a way for rich homeowners to potentially shave tens of thousands of dollars from their tax bills. They can get that same savings the next year and the following years as well. They can cut their taxes even further after they die. What’s the secret?

Moving to Florida, a state with no income tax or estate tax.

Plenty of millionaires and billionaires have been happy to ditch high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California. President Donald Trump and Carl Icahn both announced in the fall that they’ll be making Florida their primary residence, joining other high-profile executives like financiers Barry Sternlicht, Eddie Lampert and Paul Tudor Jones.

A New York couple filing jointly with $5 million in taxable income would save $394,931 in state income taxes by moving to Florida, according to Taryn Goldstein, head of Florida’s state and local tax practice for BDO USA, an accounting firm that provides tax services and financial advice. If they had moved from Boston, they’d save $252,500; from Greenwich, Conn., they’d knock $342,700 off their tax bill.

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