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As a retired non-US person. I am planning to purchase a vacation home in Florida. I am told i am only allowed to reside there for a maximum of 60 days each calendar year, any longer and I will be classified a tax resident and be taxed on my international holdings. Is this correct? What are the tax laws in my case?

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How do you plan to enter the US to visit? It might well be that the tax part is going to be the least of your potential problems, although the majority of these problems probably are outside the scope of this site. – Timo Geusch Dec 28 '12 at 23:20
I have a Visa now for decades. no problem entering the USA. – I. Bothwell Dec 28 '12 at 23:29
Entering might be covered (good!) but depending on the visa, you might for example still run into issues registering/insuring a vehicle as you're most likely not eligible for an FL license etc. But there are other forums where issues like these are discussed in depth. – Timo Geusch Dec 28 '12 at 23:33
I know the insurance will be pricy but are allowed to drive on international licence. There are more questions than answers. Thanks – I. Bothwell Dec 28 '12 at 23:43
What do you mean "taxed on my holdings"? The US has an income tax system not a wealth tax system. If you are retired and earning no income you would probably on be taxed on retirement account dividends and/or capital gains. – JohnFx Dec 29 '12 at 0:01

Plenty of retired people do stay in the US for longer than 60 days and don't pay taxes. In this IRS document 60 days stay appears to be the test for having a 'substantial presence' in the US, which is part of the test for determining residency. However the following is also written:

Even if you meet the substantial presence test, you can be treated as a nonresident alien if you are present in the United States for fewer than 183 days during the current calendar year, you maintain a tax home in a foreign country during the year, and you have a closer connection to that country than to the United States.

In other words, if your property in the US is not your main one, you pay tax in another country, and you stay there less than half the year, you should be treated as a non-resident (I am not a lawyer and this is not advice).

This IRS webpage describes the tax situation of nonresident aliens. As I understand it, if you are not engaged in any kind of business in the US and have no income from US sources then you do not have to file a tax return.

You should also look into the subject of double tax agreements. If your home country has one, and you pay taxes there, you probably won't need to pay extra tax to the US. But again, don't take my word for it.

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I think the 60 days/year come from the IRS tax residency determination, which isn't a Florida law but applies to all the states. Have a look at the "substantial presence" paragraph to see where the 60 days are coming from.

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Thanks, Will do – I. Bothwell Dec 28 '12 at 23:44

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