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Old 02-20-2010
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Question About State Sales/Use Taxes

I didn't want to hijack the Tanny Thread, though my questions are similar.

I am ignorant and poking around on the internet hasn't helped yet.

If I buy a boat in Rhode Island or any state with no sales/use tax, document it with the USCG, so I can cruise internationally, and then after a few years, I bring the boat to a new home port in California or some state with sales/use tax, would I owe that state the tax? If so would it be at the purchase price a few years back or a current appraised value?

I take it that if you buy a boat in a sales/use tax state and bring it home to a sales/use tax state, I only have to pay the tax in the state where I home port it, not both state taxes. Is that so?

If so than it appears there is no real tax advantage to buying a boat in said non-tax state, unless I plan to keep the boat home ported there. Isn't that right?

Does anyone know of a current source for information about taxes/fees/duties levied by states and governments pertaining to boat purchase and travel?

It seems that this information would help in comparing boat prices (all else being equal) and help in travel plans. Have I made too much of taxes and am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Old 02-20-2010
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Not sure about everything myself. BUT, If you bought a boat back east, say the ST was 6%, paid the ST, then brought it here to Washington where I am, you would have to pay the state and local county/city tax, totalling up to about 9.5%. BUT< you only have to pay the difference of what you paid, up to the total of Washingtons tax, or 3.5% additional.

THen the how long you can stay out of Here, or any state, and not pay, I believe depends upon the state, CA IIRC from some other posts here and elsewhere, is 6 months out of state and not having to pay the CA tax when you bring it into the state. I believe Wa where I am is similar. WHile I know and understand the laws from a business ownere, collecting from clients and paying to the state, some of the laws, as you are asking here, I know vaguely

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Old 02-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winderlust View Post
I didn't want to hijack the Tanny Thread, though my questions are similar.

I am ignorant and poking around on the internet hasn't helped yet.

If I buy a boat in Rhode Island or any state with no sales/use tax, document it with the USCG, so I can cruise internationally, and then after a few years, I bring the boat to a new home port in California or some state with sales/use tax, would I owe that state the tax? If so would it be at the purchase price a few years back or a current appraised value?
I doubt that you would pay sales tax on it, since it is something that you already own and are merely bringing into the state. This is generally the case. For instance, if you buy a car and use it while living in a state with no sales tax for several years, then you move to california, they don't require you to pay sales tax on the car when you register it there, since it hasn't been bought or sold—it is an already owned possession.

However, if you were to buy it in a state with no sales tax and then MOVE TO california within the same year, California would probably try to charge you the sales tax, and they might succeed. YMMV, and you should check with an attorney or accountant with knowledge of the tax codes in question.

Quote:
I take it that if you buy a boat in a sales/use tax state and bring it home to a sales/use tax state, I only have to pay the tax in the state where I home port it, not both state taxes. Is that so?

If so than it appears there is no real tax advantage to buying a boat in said non-tax state, unless I plan to keep the boat home ported there. Isn't that right?

Does anyone know of a current source for information about taxes/fees/duties levied by states and governments pertaining to boat purchase and travel?

It seems that this information would help in comparing boat prices (all else being equal) and help in travel plans. Have I made too much of taxes and am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Old 02-20-2010
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You'll need to research the tax laws of all the coastal states to get a sure answer. And in some of them, you won't pay sales or use tax--but ypou'll pay state or county PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX every year based on the value of the boat.

Taxes will also vary with where you are declaring residency, and whether the boat is in a particular venue more than 90 (or 180 or 183 or...) days.

Sorry, but unless you pick a particular state, there's no easy way to research or answer your question. Generally? Most states would allow a boat you owned for a long time to come in without taxes, or with just a payment of the difference in taxes, when you moved in. Others might hit you with taxes and penalties and interest back to the day you bought it, if they though you were just evading taxes.

And of course, in four years all the tax laws can be very, very, different. I don't think you can be certain of anything except "buy it now, pay the venue now" and worry about the rest when you pick your new home.
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Old 02-21-2010
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I would only add dinner party talk with an attorney from our tax board in CA that boats are something that they target for sales tax because of the large price tags.
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