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Old 11-18-2008
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yellowwducky is on a distinguished road
Boat buying and taxes?

Hi all,

Just curious how taxes work on boats. For instance, most boats are likely not made in the country where buyers live. So, can you not go pick up your own and avoid any taxes in your home country as well as the exporting one?

For instance, I live in Hong Kong. We have no taxes or import duty on pretty much everything except cigarettes. So, if I bought an American or Swedish or South African boat, clearly if it was bought here I would pay no taxes. That said, what if I wanted to take delivery in say Florida? I wouldn't want to pay Florida taxes just because I picked it up there - technically, I would like to pick it up en route from South Africa (for example) and just get first landfall in Florida (or wherever I were going to actually start sailing from). I doubt I would start sailing from HK which is why this factors into my thought process as the thought of paying Florida or South Africa or wherever taxes on a boat would be a major expense that theoretically could be avoided I would think.

Thoughts?

Regards,

Yellowwducky
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Old 11-18-2008
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Typically in the US you pay taxes (where applicable) when you register the boat under your name, not when you buy it. So if I buy in a neighboring state, but register in MA, I pay MA sales Tax. If you are buying new, and the dealer helps you to register the boat, sales tax may be due at purchase.
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Old 11-18-2008
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You probably have to worry more about getting that much money in or out of the U.S. Don't bring cash, they will steal it at the airport.
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Old 11-18-2008
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To your florida specific question...you have90 days post purchase to get out of Dodge before tax is due to FL. This allows you to get post-sale work done there before leaving the state or country. While you live in Hong Kong...will you be allowed to document your boat there if you are a non-citizen? That is not possible in the USA.
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Yellow :

You will not pay US taxes if you export the boat.

If you want to sail it out, you can stop in Florida if you wish, but the ship will need to be foreign-flagged. When you stop in Florida, the boat will be treated as if a foreign vessel.
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I have PR (permanent resident) status in HK so registering a boat here wouldn't be a problem.
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