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post #2 of Old 02-03-2006
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Tax on boats brought to Florida from RI?

Faith, you need to talk to someone in an upper level of the office that collects sales tax for Florida, and get a clear answer, in writing. If a Florida broker gives you an answer on this forum, he could be giving you a right or wrong answer. If he''s wrong, and the tax collector insists that you owe the tax, it''s too late for you to do anything but pay it, because you will have already bought the boat. You''ll have no recourse against the person who gave you the advice, because it was free advice.

Actually, if the upper level state employee gives you bad information, you could still be required to pay the tax, but if you get the information from an upper level state employee, there''ll be a greater likelihood that it will be good information, and if you get it in writing, then, any lower level employee will probably go along with it, because people usually defer to their superiors. Suppose you buy the boat and attempt to register it in Florida, and the local registrar says you have to pay the tax. If you show him your letter from an upper level employee in the department, saying you don''t have to pay the tax if you owned it for more than 6 months, then the lower level employee probably won''t dispute his superior''s opinion.

If I were you, I''d call the appropriate office in Tallahassee, and find out who is the in-house expert on boat sales taxes. There''ll be one person who knows all the ins and outs of that type of tax. Explain the situation to that person, and ask for a letter, outlining the conditions when you are exempt from the tax.

Good luck!
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