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Old 02-09-2004
kc_cmc kc_cmc is offline
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Minimizing Taxes; Hailing Port

Just about to buy a boat, and interested in advice on minimizing tax liability ...

The boat has been kept and is currently in a boatyard shed in RI. The owner lives in NJ and the USCG doucmentation and boat markings show a hailing port in NJ.

I live in MA, and plan to use the boat in RI, MA, NH, and ME. I have family and an available mooring in RI, but would like to moor the boat in MA during the peak summer months.

RI has no sales or use tax on boats, so it is attractive and practical to have the sale take place there, where the boat is located anyway. MA does have a 5% sales/use tax, which some might assert is due if the boat comes to be used in MA, especially since I live in MA. Obviously, I would prefer to find a way to avoid this cost.

Designation of hailing port on the boat and documentation is supposed to be arbitrary and of no legal significance, but it is easy to imagine how people could see meaning in it.

So, as the boat documentation and markings are changed, in which state should I designate the hailing port? What other experience and advice can you share about the "best" arrangement for me?

Thanks, and my e-mail address is kc_cmc@hotmail.com if you would rather reply directly.
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