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Brian Gordon, CPA, is the Director of State and Local Taxes at Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP. Previously, Brian was with the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance as the District Audit Manager in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He is a member of the NYSSCPA New York, Multistate & Local Taxation Committee and writes and speaks on various tax issues. He can be reached at 516-704-7130 or 516-510-6041 and email: bgordon@st-cpas.com.

New York Residency: Splitting Hairs

By Brian Gordon

In one of the oddest Advisory Opinions I’ve seen in a while, a petitioner asks if he is a resident of New York City or Yonkers. Doesn’t he know where he lives? He only has one residence. Petitioner’s address is in The Bronx, so what is the problem?

The petitioner's property straddles the Bronx/Yonkers border. The front yard of the house is in the Bronx. The actual house structure is sitting on land on the Yonkers side of the border line. The petitioner pays property taxes to both New York City and Westchester County for the respective portions of the property in each jurisdiction.

Referring to the tax law:
A resident is an individual who is domiciled in New York State and maintains a permanent place of abode in this state. The definition for New York City or Yonkers is the same.

The critical question addressed by New York State in this opinion was where the permanent place of abode is located. The permanent place of abode is in Yonkers, regardless of the address. The portion of the property located in the Bronx (NYC), consists entirely of vacant land. They do not have a permanent place of abode in New York City; therefore the petitioner is not a resident New York City. They are a resident of Yonkers and subject to the Yonkers resident income tax surcharge on their New York State tax return.

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