FL is pretty strict. Some neighbors each purchased boats in FL to be brought back to VA. Once you purchase the boat you get about 90 days before the state of FL comes looking for the tax. FL resident or not after 90 days you owe it to the state of FL - period! As the SailingFool notes they want proof the boat left the state before 90 days. My neighbors used ated fuel recepits from GA on the way back home to prove the date they left FL waters. FL does enforce boat use tax even if you live there too. Just maybe the hardest state to cheat on the boat tax.
All states allow you to apply sales tax paid in another state as credit towards tax you may owe in a state you move to. No state will let you squat in a location as a non resident and not pay tax to someone. There is no such thing as buying some place and bringing it in to a new state and not oweing tax no matter how long you were in another state. If the state you pay tax in has a higher rate than the state you are moving to then you won't pay any more tax but you do have to file the use tax paper work else you owe 100%. Not filing even when you don't owe is bad news!
Best advice is to pay the tax owed where you live upon purchase else move some place else before you buy the boat. Keep the records so the your state will know you already paid something and will allow you to apply it if you can't move the boat in time. There is a time limit on how long the boat can sit outaide your state before the other state wants the money too. In your own state you owe the money the moment you buy the boat NOT when you bring it home. Penalties apply from date of purchase. It is always your job to provide the proof not up to them to prove you guilty. This is tax law not criminal law.
All this is about use tax (aka slaes tax). Personal property tax is yet a whole other deal.
Last edited by PaulBl; 03-05-2006 at 04:07 PM.