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post #1 of 15 Old 07-25-2002 Thread Starter
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taxes,state boat registration

Will be closing on a boat next week in Florida, then will move the boat up to Ga. or SC for 6 months prior to taking off for 2 years cruising. After that we don''t know but will probably sell the boat. Does anyone have a good handle on the best way to minimize the sales tax, registration question. We plan to document the vessel next week. Do some states have significant advantages over others? As we are pretty much going to be on the move does it matter which state we register in or is it necessary to register at all as we will be documented and will not have a permanent address. Is Delaware the answer? Thank you, prussell
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-25-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

P:

Your best source of information is a tax collector''s office in each state you''re considering (temporarily) placing the boat. What better source of info on which to base your planning, I know not.

Almost all States now require annual registration of documented vessels, as this process is how they enforce tax liability. Each tax collector can explain the details in their State. In Florida, you have 90 days (verify this with your broker) to remove the boat from the State before incurring tax liability. So some folks use a legal residence in Delaware when purchasing the boat, seeking to avoid state tax liability. Put another way, they pay several hundred dollars in fees for a Delaware corporation in order to avoid several thousand dollars in tax liability. Yes, this is still done - often, according to one broker of high-end boats with whom I recently spoke.

Ask the tax collectors in other (not FL) states if you are required to register your vessel after purchasing it with Delaware residence. Ask them what the fine is if you fail to do so (e.g. thinking you may leave that non-FL state shortly after the purchase). You may find you don''t feel the need to address state registration of your documented vessel until you return from your cruise...provided you are comfortable staying outside the legal requirements.

USCG documentation stands outside the state process.

OTOH you can choose to remain in Florida after the purchase, not pay tax, and take your chances. The consequences of that are probably much higher and, if staying in Florida is your preference, I''d talk to the broker about completing the transaction in e.g. St. Mary''s City, Georgia - right across from Fernandina Beach, FL.

It''s a little complicated and I''m not covering some of the nuances. Your broker''s office should be up to speed on this and, above all, talk to the tax officials in the states of interest to you.

Jack
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-26-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

Doesn''t do you much good but there is no sales tax in RI.

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-26-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

There''s also no sales tax in Oregon. I''m assuming that if I buy a boat and take delivery in Oregon I''ll escape the CA sales tax. However, I may have to have a credible Oregon address/residence to make that work.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-27-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

Most sales tax agencies are aware of keeping a boat in one state and registering it in a non tax state.
what they do here is cruise through the harbors in the spring and look for out of state boats . they then check out the boat and owner. if they determine you are actually a resident of this state and not where the boat is registered you are SCREWED big time besides paying the tax the penalties and intrest for "use" is horrendous.
eric
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-04-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

i am thinking about buying a 44ft sail boat in the BVI. Does anyone know what the implications are for bringing this boat back to the states and trying to register it ? what is involved and is there any hidden catch ? i know sales tax etc, but i am more worried about some showstopper like documentation or proof or history of ownership etc.

thanks
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-08-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

I''ve done some research on this topic and I think I''ve got it nailed.

Buy your boat in FL. As others have posted, you''ll have 90 days to remove the boat from FL waters before the state of FL will ask you to register the boat in FL, and also ask you to pay a 6-7% tax, based on the purchase price of the boat, just to register the boat in FL. Move the boat to GA, and register the boat there. GA does not have a similar tax. Also get it documented via the Coast Guard. After six months of ownership you can move the boat to FL once again, register it in FL, avoid the tax (because you''ve owned the boat for more than six months), liveaboard the boat, declare FL residency, and pay no state income tax!

I think everything I said is the straight story. If anyone else knows better please post the correct info.

Chip
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-09-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

Let me then ask .....

We live in MA but plan to moor the boat in RI.

We plan to buy in MA, register in RI and pay no sales tax.

Is this OK, am I missing something ? ?
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-09-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

Anyone know the best way to register in Maryland???
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-10-2002
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taxes,state boat registration

Call the Department of Natural Resources. The number is in the phone book. They are most helpful and have offices in several places around the state. You can download the forms you''ll need from the state website.
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