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post #12 of Old 03-20-2002
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Boats outside of USA

When you buy a taxable item (used or new) outside your state of residence, and your state of residence has a sales tax, you probably must pay a "use tax," which is generally the same amount as a "sales tax." You buy a boat in Europe somewhere, take it to Maine, you must pay a 5.5% "use tax." If you''d bought the boat in Maine, it''d be called a "sales tax." You pay where the boat will ultimately be located or registration paid. Most states require that if you plan to have the vessel located there for more than 6 mos. out of the year, it must be registered there, hence, you pay the use tax there. Proof of payment of sales/use tax elsewhere should get you a proration of tax due in the State where you register the boat. No tax paid, no proration, and the full amount is due. 3% sales tax paid elsewhere and 5.5% "use tax" due in the State you move it to, you should get a 2.5% proration. The use/sales tax is a one time deal for an owner, meaning that you don''t have to pay it over and over if you move the boat around and re-register elsewhere (generally), so hold on to your tax receipts. Believe me. It took me five years to finally pay my $1,740 use tax to Maine after being billed over $5K in tax on my 1972 boat, penalties and interest. I refused the $5K (my broker never mentioned this little problem) and finally told them I was moving to the Caribbean. They took the $1,740. You think everyone that buys crap at yard sales like outboards and snowmobiles pays the sales tax? A vicious little tax authority. Hoist the skull and crossbones.
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