How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lev Your Own Question
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29528
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
870116
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Lev is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I moved from Texas to South Carolina in April 2010 and purchased

This answer was rated:

I moved from Texas to South Carolina in April 2010 and purchased a home that same year. I also worked in SC from April 2010 to May 2011. I married my boyfriend from Texas in May 2011. He also owns a home in Texas. He is not listed on my mortgage and I am not listed on his. I have been renting my house in SC since mid-June 2011 as a vacation rental. I lived in the house until mid June 2011 and still go back to stay there 1 to 2 weeks at a time. Our goal is to sell the house in Texas next year (assuming my husband gets a transfer) and move to the house in SC. I just accepted a job in Texas that will start late October 2011. My drivers license, registration, mail, utilities, are all addressed in SC. 1. How do you define 'legal residence' or 'permanent residence'? 2. Though we are not listed on each others' mortgage, does this mean we both own a second home now (in SC)? 3. Should we file jointly or separately next year? 4. Will I have to pay back the new homeowner's tax credit ($8,000) I received last year?

Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
1. How do you define 'legal residence' or 'permanent residence'?
The definition depends on the purpose. For federal tax purposes - if you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is ordinarily the one you live in most of the time.
In addition to the amount of time you live in each home, other factors are relevant in determining which home is your main home. Those factors include the following.

  1. Your place of employment.

  2. The location of your family members' main home.

  3. Your mailing address for bills and correspondence.

  4. The address listed on your:

    1. Federal and state tax returns,

    2. Driver's license,

    3. Car registration, and

    4. Voter registration card.

  5. The location of the banks you use.

  6. The location of recreational clubs and religious organizations of which you are a member.

2. Though we are not listed on each others' mortgage, does this mean we both own a second home now (in SC)?
No it doesn't. A legal owner of a real property generally is the person listed on title.
3. Should we file jointly or separately next year?
If you will be married on the last day of the year - you may choose either file a joint tax return or separate tax returns. In most situation - filing jointly is more beneficial from tax refund prospective.
4. Will I have to pay back the new home owner's tax credit ($8,000) I received last year?
In some circumstances - yes.
If, within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full amount of the credit is due at the time the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence is due. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year's tax return. See here some repayment triggers - http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=233589,00.html

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Regarding #1 - I assume that "most of the time" equates to a tax year? For instance, I have occupied the home for approximately 7 months this year. That means, this year, the house in SC is my legal residence. Correct?
Yes - that is correct - you will determine your main home for each tax year.
The IRS use terms "main home" or "primary residence." Not "legal residence."
Lev and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you