New to the US of A - Tax / Residency Advice Please


New Member

I have posted some general questions about taxes etc. in this forum already and got great response from a lot of people which was very helpful, thanks again! Now I would like to ask some more specific questions.

I am European, live here in Southern California, and will give up rent here and want to get an RV, trade from the "home office" in the RV and travel the US fulltime. I also have a company (LLC) registered in Nevada (my trading will run over it, tax wise).

What would be the best state to “select” as my “home state” and how to do it, and how quickly can it be done?:

- Alaska? I realized this would be a state with both, no income tax and no sales tax. Is there any requirement to be there at least once a year or so (as you have to go via Canada one could easily check (passport stamps) ? Pros/cons? Any other state with no (low) income/income from investments/sales tax?

- Or now Oregon and Nevada next year? Oregon, with no sales tax, is near California and I found a mail forwarding service with an address there (sales tax is now relevant as I have to purchase the RV). As I have tax deductions from last year I could use them for 2007 to pay no or low income tax. And than, in 2008, I could "move" to Nevada as there is no income tax (but sales tax), as my company is registered there anyway?

- Any other recommended states? Where are other full-timers registered?

- Any particular cities which would be good/bad for getting registered there?

- As I was living in Cali from Jan to March 07, do I have to expect any troubles in regards to taxes when leaving now and getting registered somewhere else (e.g. pro rata income tax), or could I run into troubles with avoiding sales tax now?

- Which mail forwarding company offers the most flexibility in terms of address locations (e.g. Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, wherever)? And, is such an address enough for being accepted as a resident there in regards to taxes?

- What and how to do? In most European countries you have to get registered in the city you live, but not here, right? Btw, I got my California Driver License. Would it help to get an address in, let’s say Nevada, go to a DMV for a Nevada DL, and declare my taxes there after the year is over?

- Any other information about residency/taxes/mail forwarding & address services are of course also very much appreciated!


DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: New to the US of A - Tax / Residency Advice Please

Nevada is the closest. I've registered and used Nevada, Texas, Florida. They all work. I think South Dakota is probably a real good State to become a resident of, if you can take the time to go there and set evrything up. Registration, plates mail forwarding/local address.


Senior Member
Re: New to the US of A - Tax / Residency Advice Please

Alaska might be interesting. There is even a yearly payment to Alaska residents (something about oil pipeline royalties). But I think you have to be there 6 months and 1 day out of the year to be eligible.

It is cold. And snowy. For much of the year.

You will be crossing 2 borders whenever you go from Alaska to rest of US, or US to Alaska. Might be no problem now, but who knows what the future would bring. Shipping anything to there or from there might be rather more expensive than from point to point within the contenental US.

Pretty much the 'non-resident' resident friendly states are Texas, Florida and South Dakota. No state income tax, and you can do most of your 'state' business remotely.

If you change states during the year, you will need to file state taxes with both states (assuming they have them). Make sure you mark them as part year residency, some states may have special forms for this. In general, you will pay taxes to a state for only that income you made while a resident there.

Cities have nothing to do with registration. Just make sure the one you pick does not have any special RV restrictions or taxes.

The DMV has nothing to do with taxes.

To change residency, in general, you chose where you want to live, and you 'move' there. In most cases you will need a legal address there, but often this can be a friend, relative or 'post office' address. Then you register your vehicles, get a drivers licence and anything else which is required by the state. At tax time, fill out the federal forms, and any state forms from states you 'resided' in during the year If you make a lot of money, some states will try to tax you on money you made in their state even if you were never a resident...


Senior Member
Re: New to the US of A - Tax / Residency Advice Please

Let's start at the beginning. How much do you expect to 'save' by state shopping? Will that much money be worth the shopping trip?


New Member
RE: New to the US of A - Tax / Residency Advice Please

Thank you all, great help!

Based on your practical tips and further research I decided for South Dakota. For me, reducing income tax has fist priority, so states like TX or SD are great and there, as it seems, it is also easy/easier to set up everything a full-timer needs. As I am also about to purchase my fifth wheel and truck, the 3% excise tax of SD will save me a couple of thousand bucks too.

I contacted to get an address and mail forwarding service, and also they will help to register my vehicles for a reasonable fee.

Again, I really appreciate the support from the members of this forum!

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: New to the US of A - Tax / Residency Advice Please

South Dakota seems to want the RV'ers money and also the additional population count we bring them. They tend to go the extra mile. Some States could care less. Texas was my choice 12 years ago, but all of a sudden they made residency by mail impossible so I left. I will probably become a South Dakotan soon. :laugh: