New to the US of A - Tax & Insurance Advice Please

Discussion in 'Taxes and Accounting' started by BillCh, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. BillCh



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

    As I realized, my quite okay tax related knowledge from Europe is nice, but as nice as it is, as worthless is it here in the States. Maybe some of you guys can give me some basic advice, maybe even in relation with my special circumstances:

    - What (income) taxes have to be paid/considered in the US in general? Is this split between country (if any) and state tax etc.?

    - As I will be not (necessarily) a Californian resident as I will travel fulltime and have no address here in Cali, where would it be best to become a resident in terms of taxes?

    - And how could I achieve that? 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, lets say Nevada, go to a DMV for a Nevada DL, and declare my taxes there after the year is over?

    - Different taxation for stocks, futures, forex, ...? A brief overview would be nice as I will trade all of that.

    - Pension: as a trader and/or because I generate my income via my LLC, how could I best save money for retirement. I guess that 401k or however it is called is not for me?

    - Health insurance: As I understand, you just get it somewhere (f you like), which I did from a Californian insurer. I will ask them, but do I have to expect troubles while being in a NYC hospital because I got run over by a 23 year old Goldman Sachs banker in his new Porsche? If so, any "nationwide insurance".

    - Tax deduction: as I learned from my CPA and lawyer, I would have to pay sales tax for my RV wherever I get the title for it? I am not so sure if this is really true (as I will not stay in that or any particular state for a long time). But I guess I can deduct some interest for the loan (if I am not forced to pay all in cash -> no credit history in the US = no human being at all = no loan), as these are seen as first or second home under some circumstances?

    I know there is a lot of basic stuff, but I can tell you that specially the easy basics are sometimes harder to figure out as they are not discussed at all (as everybody know them anyway, beside some aliens from abroad), and I also know that parts of it for sure have been already discussed here but again, sometimes using common abbreviations I never heard in my life before!

  2. BSAM



    I believe there are several states where you may not have to pay any sales tax on your RV. I would encourage you to stop in at a KOA campground (they are all over the U.S.) There's lots of people who set up a "residence" in low tax states and live in their RV. You could probably get some good ideas from the people at a KOA.
  3. Become a Nevada resident since you already have a biz there. No state income tax. There are a total of 10 states without income tax, but might as well have everything registered in one spot.

    Get a Nevada DL, register the RV there when current registration expires (may want to wait cause this may be expensive). Open a bank acct there also, and use this acct as your main acct. You will then not have to worry about any state income tax. Virtually all RV people are registered in non income tax states. Also, open an acct with a mail forwarding company registered in Nevada (just do a web search. There's loads of them). That way all mail will go to Nevada, and the company will forward your mail wherever you are. Usually costs about $25 to $50 per year plus postage fees.

    You will be taxed on profits at capital gains rates. These are normal income rates for short term (less than a year) trades, UNLESS trading futures or forex. You then pay a lower rate. (60% long term/ 40% short term regardless of trade period, even for day trading).

    For pension type stuff, I'd recommend using a pro advisor of some sort, or at least read Robert Green's book on trader's taxes. He goes into this issue also. (do an author search on Amazon).

    No real nationwide insurance that I know of, but your insurance will work anywhere for accidents, etc. Just say you were on holiday. You may wish to change that to Nevada also. Will probably be cheaper there. Join "Sam's" club. Its a club for full time rv'ers. Lots of info on insurance, etc. Lots of discounts on RV parks as well (which usually have wireless net nowadays).

    If your RV has a toilet, then it can be considered a home, and has the same interest deductions on the loan as a house. You will pay sales tax on the RV wherever you buy it, unless you can prove you live in a non sales tax state, or just buy it in Oregon. This can be tricky when you don't live there. I do not know the details, so I would recommend joining a RV forum, and just ask there. LOTS of people do it. I believe you can then change the registration to Nevada, etc after a year of ownership, and pay no sales tax. Again, I am unsure of the exact details.

    I have been thinking of doing the RV thing myself for years, and have done quite a bit of research on it. PM me if you have any more questions.