Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

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Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by billf »


I have a concern about establishing Washington residency for income tax purposes, coming from Oregon. I know the stock answer is "it depends on the state you're coming from," so I'm hoping some folks might have a sense for how aggressive OR is in cases like this. My best guess is that what I'm thinking of doing is perfectly fine, but I'd love to get some validation (or, conversely, cautionary tales!) from folks who know better.

So: I've been living in OR for a little over a year, renting. I'm mostly retired, in my late 50's. I'm pretty sure that I want to end up in Washington, but I'm not quite ready to buy a house yet. March of next year, I expect to leave the country for a year or more (maybe in the Peace Corps, if they're sending out volunteers by then, or maybe to France on a long-term visitor visa). So, it's worth a reasonable chunk of change to make sure that I'm not paying OR income tax for that year. Plus, I genuinely want to check out Washington before I leave.

By far the easiest way to live somewhere for a bit over two months seems to be Airbnb. Now, I'd be moving all my possessions out of Oregon (and into storage in WA), and getting rid of my car, and registering to vote in WA, and buying health coverage there. I'd get one of those mail scanning services in WA, too, for my year (or whatever) out of the country. I wouldn't have any sort of physical presence in OR at all.

What I wouldn't have is a record of a lease in WA, or utilities in my name. Would that be a problem with the OR tax authorities?

The black-letter text I've been able to find says one is a "full-year resident" of OR if
* You think of Oregon as your permanent home,and
* Oregon is the center of your financial, social, and family life, and
* Oregon is the place you intend to come back to when you're away.

No, no and no in my case, but it seems mighty subjective. And, I'm originally from California, so I'm used to a high degree of paranoia in matters like these :-)

So, internet hive mind, am I getting worked up over nothing? Any particular recommendations?
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by random_walker_77 »

Can you find a short-term apartment lease? When we moved across states, we committed to a 3 month rental, sight-unseen (but based on recs from locals). Not all places will offer it, but at a nice complex, with a good story and an appropriate rental premium, I'd think you could find one *somewhere* in the target region. There's a premium in the rent, but I'd think that it probably wouldn't be any more expensive than the premium for an airbnb?
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by chemocean »

I don't know the WA roles, but my understanding is that transient housing (hotels, AirBNB, extended stay) probably does qualify for residency. As the other poster suggested, a short-term RENTAL lease might be appropriate. Other suggestions are to get a cheap room in shared house with strangers, or if you have friends in WA have them write up a cheap lease to rent a bedroom. (For tax purposes, the rent would have to be declared as income for those who receive your rent).
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by Sprucebark »

The state you are trying to leave is often different from the state you are going to. It gets especially crazy when you talk of going abroad- then your last state of residence becomes your forever tax home!

This definition here isn’t perfect, but I believe a reasonable person would say that an Airbnb rental would show “transient” or “temporary” intent and therefore not meet the threshold of becoming a resident. You’ll want to get an actual rental so you don’t look transient. ... definition

Washington State residency definition
Persons are considered residents of this state for sales and use tax purposes if they take actions which indicate that they intend to live in this state on more than a temporary or transient basis. A person may be considered a resident of this state even though the person is a resident of another state.
The Department of Revenue presumes that a person is a resident of this state if he or she does any of the following:
Maintains a residence in Washington for personal use;
Lives in a motor home or vessel which is not permanently attached to any property if the person previously lived in this state and does not have a permanent residence in any other state;
Is registered to vote in this state;
Receives benefits under one of Washington's public assistance programs;
Has a state professional or business license in this state;
Is attending school in this state and paying tuition as a Washington resident or is a custodial parent with a child attending a public school in this state;
Uses a Washington address for federal or state taxes;
Has a Washington State driver's license; or
Claims Washington as a residence for obtaining a hunting or fishing license, eligibility to hold public office or for judicial actions.
Persons may rebut the presumption of residency if they provide other facts which show that they do not intend to reside in this state on either a temporary or permanent basis. A Washington resident who intends to move at a future date, however, will be considered a Washington resident.
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by scifilover »

I think you need a WA mailing need that to get a WA DLicense before you get rid of the car. When you get the DL, in the process you can register to vote...(you also need an address to register)..... There are some places where you can get a private po box, that has a street address.....
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by Bud »

If you book through Airbnb, you receipt is your "contract" and proof of residence in another state. Also, as a host, when guestsstay long-term, they will often receive mail during their stay so listing the AIrbnb as a mailing address is probably ok. However, you will need a permanent mailing address somewhere and the AIrbnb is only temporary, although again it is all subjective.

Also, many Airbnb's have separate websites for their short-term rental. Find the Airbnb name and location. google it to see if a website turns up which is not connected to airbnb, vrbo, or other site. You can often work a lower price working directly with the owner because Airbnb adds about 25% on top of regular rental rates.

All the best.
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by chemocean »

scifilover wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:37 am I think you need a WA mailing address....... There are some places where you can get a private po box, that has a street address.....
I recall looking into this, and I found out some agencies (can't recall which) know which addresses are mailing agencies. If your ONLY WA address is a mailing service, I think OR could make the case that the address is transient and you are still a resident of OR if OR also has that list.
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by bsteiner »

Mike Scott
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by Mike Scott »

If you are wandering, I believe that South Dakota makes this process very easy for RVers etc with a whole cottage industry supporting state residency.
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Re: Establishing WA residency from OR - Airbnb?

Post by caramou »

As others have said, you will need to take steps that evidence a clear intention to be a resident of Washington as opposed to Oregon. As a current Oregon residence you are presumed to be just that until you can show otherwise. Drivers license, voting registration, mailing address, receipts (e.g., memorialize time spent in WA), a lease, etc., are all ways to show you are a WA resident. Transient housing will probably be a tough sell but there are some Oregon cases about motor homes you could track down for guidance.

You say you are mostly retired, so keep in mind that services provided in OR may still be subject to OR income tax, WA state applies a B&O tax on independent contractors, and WA state recently passed a cap gains tax of 7% (although this is for LTCGs when income exceeds $250k).

Also, you'll need think about part-year resident filing for the year you make the move.
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