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California Residency - The Bragg Test

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For Californians interested in moving residency to the state of Nevada, the Bragg Test will help you understand the factors that California will use to consider where your residence lies.

One might discern two independent tests from administrative and judicial decisions to address the residency question. The first test, and the most widely known and used, is commonly referred to as the "Closest Connections Test." This test compares the taxpayer's contacts with his or her new place of abode to the contacts with his or her former place of abode. A number of factors traditionally have been included with the "closest connections" analysis, and as usual, are considered with the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case. Neither the Franchise Tax Board's publications nor FTB's regulations attempt or purport to provide a complete list of such factors. To its credit, in 2003, the SBE, in Appeals of Stephen D. Bragg, recognized the complexity of the residency question in light of the diverse factual contexts in which the issue could arise. Confronted with the near impossibility of creating a universal test, the SBE set forth a list of 19 items, now commonly referred to as the Bragg factors, to help determine a taxpayer’s closest connections. 

• The location of all of the taxpayer’s residential real property, and the approximate sizes and

values of each of the residences;

• The state wherein the taxpayer’s spouse and children reside;

• The state wherein the taxpayer’s children attend school;

• The state wherein the taxpayer claims the homeowner’s property tax exemption on a

residence;

• The taxpayer’s telephone records (i.e., the origination point of taxpayer’s telephone calls);

• The number of days the taxpayer spends in California versus the number of days the taxpayer

spends in other states, and the general purpose of such days (i.e., vacation, business, etc.);

• The location where the taxpayer files his tax returns, both federal and state, and the state of

residence claimed by the taxpayer on such returns;

• The location of the taxpayer’s bank and savings accounts;

• The origination point of the taxpayer’s checking account transactions and credit card

transactions;

• The state wherein the taxpayer maintains memberships in social, religious, and professional

organizations;

• The state wherein the taxpayer registers his automobiles;

• The state wherein the taxpayer maintains a driver’s license;

• The state wherein the taxpayer maintains voter registration, and the taxpayer’s voting

participation history;

• The state wherein the taxpayer obtains professional services, such as doctors, dentists,

accountants, and attorneys;

• The state wherein the taxpayer is employed;

• The state wherein the taxpayer maintains or owns business interests;

• The state wherein the taxpayer holds a professional license or licenses;

• The state wherein the taxpayer owns investment real property; and

• The indications in affidavits from various individuals discussing the taxpayer’s residency.

This 19-factor list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. These factors serve merely as a guide to determine residency.