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Florida is the ideal state for Europeans looking for winter sun. It’s a shorter journey than to California and it has well-established expat communities, which will make you fell right at home straightaway. However, it is the USA and you might find that there are tax and compliance issues that are ‘foreign’ to you, but with plenty of advance planning and expert help it will all be fine – otherwise fewer expats would buy property in Florida.

Here are a few of the issues you should plan for before buying in Florida.

How will you pay for the property in Florida?

If you’re paying cash, no need to concern yourself with sorting out a mortgage. If you do need a mortgage for a U.S. property, it is best to go to a licensed mortgage expert. Not only do they undergo continuous training, they also keep up-to-date with all the current special offers and can often offer you lower rates and better set-up costs. Banks on the other hand are limited to what they have to offer in-house, and their deal may not be the best for you.

What are the Florida tax requirements for property owners?

There are several of these and you should consult a tax expert to minimise your payments within the legal requirements.

You will need to pay income tax to the IRS if you rent out your property, even if you mostly live overseas, unless IRS withholding tax has been applied, and then you don’t.

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Moving overseas?

There is a tangible personal property tax on furniture and fixtures in rental and business properties. Tax returns reporting the value of these assets must be filed to the Property Appraisers’ office by April 1st.

Property tax must be paid annually. The Property Appraiser’s Office establishes the assessed value of a property and prepares the tax roll. You’ll usually receive the tax statement around the beginning of November each year.

If you’re renting out your property and it is for less than six months of the year, there is a tourist development tax and a sales & use tax. A management company can handle this for you, even if you collect the income in your home country.

There is also a local business tax that rental owners have to pay annually. And then there is the capital gains tax, which applies to a sale once you’ve owned the property for more than one year. And, U.S. tax law also demands that any non-resident alien who sells an interest in a U.S. property is subject to a withholding tax of 15 percent of the gross sales price.

It probably sounds more complex than it is, but it is still better to get expert advice and ensure you know exactly when to pay and what you are liable for.

Take a look at the properties for sale in Florida on Umuzee.com – bring some sunshine into your life!

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Welcome to Florida

Explore Florida, the Sunshine and citrus fruits

Explore Florida – Florida is a hugely popular holiday destination for sun-starved Brits. Florida’s nickname is the Sunshine state and you’ll hopefully become sunkissed rather than sunburnt. The state flower is the orange blossom and citrus fruits are one of its main agricultural crops. Indeed, “Florida” and “orange juice” are pretty much synonymous in numerous consumer minds.

A sporting climate

Florida’s climate makes it an ideal place for golf and tennis enthusiasts to enjoy their game year-round. The state has also positioned itself as an ideal family holiday destination. There are few children who say “No thanks” to a visit to Disney World and nearby rival theme parks, Universal Studios and SeaWorld Orlando, which are also hugely popular, are all within the same area, making it easy for visitors to fit in a visit to each during a holiday.

Golfers spoilt for choice

Golf is a major attraction. The PGA list of Florida golf courses is a useful guide as it lists golf courses by area: so, whether you’re in the Naples-Fort Myers-Sarasota stretch of the Gulf Coast or on the eastern seaboard that runs from Miami up to Daytona and beyond, or in a central location like Orlando, you’ll find a golf course suitable for your expertise. The list also gives an idea of costs: some of Florida’s clubs are very snazzy and you don’t want to get caught out with an unexpectedly large bill.

Explore Florida & Marvellous Miami

Miami is a city that delivers more than it promises. The TV series of the 80s, “Miami Vice” may have colored British expectations to some extent, but Miami is much more cultured than that show made out. South Beach is a stretch of Art Deco stylishness and cruising Ocean Drive in a car, or walking it, is a must. Other areas of interest are Coconut Grove, Little Haiti and Buena Vista with its Miami Design district.

Unexpectedly cultured

Art aficionados should visit Miami in December when the art world descends for Art Basel Miami Beach and a host of satellite art events. During the rest of the year, Miami has a wealth of museums that are worth a visit, including a children’s museum that your kids will love. You may think that kids and museums aren’t an ideal mix, but the interactive exhibits here will have your kids enthralled.

The Florida Keys

If you’re in Miami and you have a car, without doubt you should drive down the Florida Keys, preferably until you reach the very tip of Florida—and the United States-in Key West. Fans of that special movie pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall should watch the 1948 John Huston film “Key Largo” before you visit the real Key Largo. It’s also home to the citrus fruit “Key lime” and yes, that’s where Key lime pie comes from. The sunsets you’ll see from the Keys are simply sublime and worth the journey.

From the Gulf coast to the Atlantic

Florida’s coast on the Gulf of Mexico is another popular holiday destination. From Tarpon Springs to Marco Island, taking in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota along the way, the white sand beaches, chic coastal towns and smart shopping attract an international set. The Ringling circus and the Ringlisng estate play an important role in the history of this coast, so make sure you visit one, or both. And if you are in Tarpon Springs, it’s said to have the best Greek restaurants in America. On the Atlantic coast, Palm Beach is a byword for “old money” and art collecting. Jupiter Beach is a nearby popular spot as is nearby Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding towns. This is a vibrant area that gives visitors easy access to Miami and the Florida Everglades.

From Davenport to Daytona

Visitors who want to make the most of Orlando and its family attractions may prefer to stay in nearby Davenport, which is a quieter, charming town is only a few miles from the highway that will take you straight to Disneyworld. Drive over to the coast and head north from the famous Cape Canaveral, and you’ll reach one of Florida’s other famous locations; Daytona. Not only is it an aquatic sports centre, it is more famously where the Daytona 500 rally is held. This is the most prestigious NASCAR rally and attracts crowds of around 250,000.

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