The TaxBird app, available on iPhone for $19.99 a year, warns users when they are in danger of spending too much time in high-tax states — which would require them to file taxes there.
By tracking a user’s location, TaxBird notifies the user once it generates a report during the tax-filing season that shows how many days a person spent in specific states.
TaxBird launched in October and has a handful of paying customers so far, including a small number in Central Florida. The company is small — consisting of co-founders Jim Simon and Brian Ochs with a developer who is moonlighting for the company.
Simon has been showing off the app this week at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning conference in Orlando. Feedback there has been generally positive, with some asking questions that could lead to future products, said Simon. An Android version is in development.
Simon owns homes in Westport, Conn., where the tax rate is close to 7 percent, and Naples.
Florida is one of seven states that do not have a state income tax, along with Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
“I became a Florida resident so I could avoid Connecticut taxes,” said Simon, 57.
Sounds similar to the MileIQ app I use to keep track of my business miles. I suppose there's something a bit creepy about an app that keeps track of where you are, and when, but the government is surely already doing that anyway, and at least this gives the user a tool to fight off the taxman's claws, a little.
Of broader interest, to me at least, is that a Connecticut entrepreneur started a business here, sold it for a huge price, and immediately decamped for tax-free Florida. The fact that he thinks that there may be a market for this app suggests that he knows of others who have done or are thinking of doing the same thing.