Join Date: Jul 2000
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Registration and Sales Tax
Federal Documentation has absolutely NO bearing on sales/usage taxes owed to ''states''.
Most state''s tax clock starts running the second that you take possession (or enter their territorial waters). Most states will allow only a limited amount of ''visitation'' time (ie.: 30, 60, etc. days) as a grace period for visitation or fitting out, etc. and if you exceed this limit you may/will owe taxes, interest and penalties. The principal here for tax purposes is "area of principal usage". Documentation status has NO bearing with states who want their taxes paid if you keep your boat there over a certain time limit. You have to check each and every state that you visit/stay and be sure that you dont exceed the grace period.
If you paid sales/use taxes in Virginia, then you are probably OK vs. assessed taxes for Virginia (only). If not paid and are due, your ''tax clock'' has probably already been running for some time.
If you buy a boat in a state that has a lower tax rate than the state to where you move the boat for a long term stay .... guess what? you owe the state with the higher tax rate the *difference* not paid to the state where you bought the boat.
Every damn state is different. Those states that are ''socialist peoples republics'', eg.: MA, NY, MD, CA etc. are the worst and usually have the shortest ''grace'' periods.
Local municpalities (especially in the socialistic northeast) are also beginning to consider to enter into the opportunistic taxation of ''rich boat owners'' and are considering to assess boats as personal property and other such taxation methods of the ''rich''.