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Old 02-02-2006
faithab faithab is offline
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Tax on boats brought to Florida

We are planning on buying a 1996 Freedom sailboat in R.I. One of the appeals is that there is no sales tax on boats bought in Rhode Island. We will be keeping the boat in R.I. for 10-11 months.

Although I had called our county tax collector a month ago and been told that boats, like cars, were exempt from the 6% tax if they had been owned for longer than 6 months, I have been urged to double check. Below is what the FL website says about cars:

Motor Vehicle Registration

Florida''s 6 percent use tax applies to and is due on motor vehicles brought into this state within 6 months from the date of purchase. Use tax does not apply if a like tax equal to or greater than 6 percent has been lawfully imposed and paid to another state or District of Columbia.

It is presumed that a motor vehicle used in another state, territory of the United States, or District of Columbia for 6 months or longer before being brought into Florida was not purchased for use in Florida. To qualify for exemption from use tax, you must provide documents to prove that the vehicle was used outside Florida for 6 months or longer

However, I just went to Florida''s website for boaters and found this:

Initial Registration And Titling

Applications for vessel registration and title certificates are to be filed by the vessel owner with the county tax collector''s office . . . . If the sales tax on the total purchase price of the vessel has not been previously paid, the vessel owner must pay the tax along with the fees listed above. If the sales tax has already been paid, then the vessel owner should furnish the county tax collector with a valid receipt indicating where the sales tax was paid and that it was paid in an amount equal to or greater than the applicable sales tax.

Now, I don''t know whether the phrase "if the sales tax has already been paid" means in FL or means anywhere else. But this is a bit daunting.

Does anyone have any experience in this area. Anyone out there a FL broker who can help me? Our broker is based in MA and is not sure who FL works.

Thanks so much, Faith.
Faith Andrews Bedford
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