The Third Department, reversing the Tax Appeals Tribunal, determined petitioners’ vacation home in Northfield, New York, was not a “permanent place of abode” such that petitioner’s were obligated to pay New York State income tax. Petitioners lived in New Jersey and petitioner Nelson Obus commuted to New York City for work. Apparently the commuting was the basis for finding petitioners spent more than 183 days in New York in the relevant tax years. But petitioner did not commute to work from the vacation house and spent no more than three weeks a year there:
… [T]here are objective facts that tend to support the determination of the Tribunal, including that petitioners had “free and continuous access” to the Northville home … . That said, petitioners fall outside of the purview of the target class of taxpayers who were intended to qualify as statutory residents … . It is not disputed that, at most, petitioners utilized the Northville home for three weeks during each tax year for either skiing or to visit the racetrack in the City of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County.,,, The Northville home was not used for access to Obus’ job in New York City and was not suitable for such purposes, given that it is over a four-hour drive each way … . In fact, a year-round tenant occupies an attached apartment, who Obus informs of his presence prior to his arrival. Moreover, petitioners do not keep personal effects in the Northville home, instead bringing with them what they will need for their visits. Based on these undisputed facts, petitioners have not utilized the dwelling in a manner which demonstrates that they had a residential interest in the property … . Thus, even though the Northville home could have been used in a manner such that it could constitute a permanent place of abode within the meaning of Tax Law § 605, because petitioners did not use it in this manner, it does not constitute a permanent place of abode … , and a contrary finding by the Tribunal is inconsistent with the legislative intent underlying the statute … . Matter of Obus v New York State Tax Appeals Trib., 2022 NY Slip Op 04206, Third Dept 6-30-22
Practice Point: Here the petitioners apparently spent more than 183 days a year in New York, presumably because one of the petitioners commuted from their New Jersey home to work in New York City. But petitioners did not spend more than three weeks per year in their vacation home in Northfield, New York. Therefore, the Northfield vacation home should have been found to be petitioners’ “permanent place of abode” for the purpose of requiring petitioners to pay New York State income tax.