New York State May Not Let Trump Go Without a Fight

Last night on Twitter, the ever-entertaining #FloridaMan hashtag was back in the trending tab, but not the for the reason that you might imagine.

No, it wasn’t a story of some strange police report involving bath salts, or alligators, or pythons, or prostitutes.  This time, it was all about President Trump, who announced via Twitter that he would be filing the paperwork to make the Sunshine State is permanent place of residency.  Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, intimated that he would be fleeing the exorbitant tax burden of The Big Apple, and taking his family to Mar-A-Lago full time.

So, naturally:  #FloridaMan.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo seemed to think that Trump was simply hoping to avoid impending investigations into his finances within the Empire State – a claim that makes little sense for those who understand how viciously New York authorities pursue their targets.

Trump’s plan to shift his permanent residence to Palm Beach will likely be heavily scrutinized by New York state officials, who are notorious for auditing wealthy residents seeking to flee to lower-tax states to make sure such moves are real and not just on paper. Those cases can go on for years.

“New York says just because you fill out a piece of paper, that doesn’t make you a Floridian,” said Mark Klein, a tax lawyer who has handled hundreds of tax-residency audits. “People have this misunderstanding that if you go to Florida and fill out an affidavit, you register to vote and you get a driver’s license, that is all it takes.”

Even though it appears Trump has a strong case — he’s only spent a few nights at his Trump Tower penthouse overlooking Fifth Avenue since he became president — tax experts say it’s not a matter of if he will be audited but when.

“It’s 100 percent he’ll get audited,” predicted Barry Horowitz, a tax accountant who has handled many change-of-residency cases. “There’ll be a fight.”

This will be nothing new for Trump, whose finances have been under scrutiny more often than they have not in recent years.

Trump famously refused to release his tax returns publicly during his 2016 campaign, citing an ongoing audit by the IRS.