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post #11 of 25 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
This may be way off the point but when cruising in many third world areas it is not uncommon for customs officials to stop by and ask for proof of ownership of stuff on your boat (electronics, etc)

The reason apparently is because there exists a cottage industry of locals importing stuff and selling it to passing boats to generate forex for themselves.

So if you're going out there be sure to have receipts for all your stuff
We have never been boarded here in the Antilles, other than have officials in St. Lucia pull alongside and request to see our entry papers. I've enough stuff aboard without having to have a receipt for every item aboard, especially stuff that was installed before I purchased the boat!
I have yet to visit ANY place where locals can purchase items (not stolen) for less than I can get them if I shop over the internet, at duty free ports such as St. Martin or as bonded stores.
Sounds awful fishy to me.
Interestingly enough, when I bought this boat I tried to register her in SC but they would not register (or take tax???) for a documented vessel. Therefor we sail without having paid sales tax and no state we've visited has even inquired. I know if I hung around Fla. long enough it would be a problem, but that ain't going to happen; Fla is many years in my past, boating wise.

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Last edited by capta; 07-18-2013 at 02:59 PM.
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post #12 of 25 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
news to me. I know here in NJ, you may sales tax when you put the boat in your name.
It's probably sooner.

While I was waiting for coast guard documents, the NJ taxation bureau called me up to collect the sales/use tax. This action was about 90 days after a Maryland purchase. I had earlier attempted to register at the DMV (which would mean paying tax) but they needed additional information.

The tax collector told me the use tax is due the moment a NJ resident brings the boat into NJ, not after 180 days as I had believed. We discussed those that keep their boat in Delaware to avoid use tax; if you use this method (I dont) technically once you cross the centerline of the delaware river, you owe the use tax at that moment.

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post #13 of 25 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

interesting. Mine is sitting on a trailer in my driveway. Are they going to hit me for a "use tax"?

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post #14 of 25 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
interesting. Mine is sitting on a trailer in my driveway. Are they going to hit me for a "use tax"?
Doubt it since you're not actually using it. But it wouldn't surprise me if they tried.

CA tried charging me a "Use Tax" because the hailing port his Dana Point, CA. I had to send the paperwork to prove I purchased, paid sales tax and stored/used outside of CA. I haven't heard anything since.

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post #15 of 25 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
interesting. Mine is sitting on a trailer in my driveway. Are they going to hit me for a "use tax"?
Not if you can prove you paid your tax to another state. Which state did you pay?


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post #16 of 25 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by michigancruisers View Post
Saw this post on active captain regarding an anchorage in northern Michigan.


"the Conservation Officers who come around to your boat asking to see proof that you paid sales tax on your boat. And when you can't find the reciept for your sales tax payment, issue you a ticket. Quite an experience."

Has anyone else ever had this happen to them?

THE ADMIRAL and I bought a Pearson 27 that was documented (our first) from MA. I transferred the documentation but never registered with NY. (The Coast Guard even says another entity CANNOT issue a vessel number as I recall).

No problem until we tied up at a State Park facility. The Park Police issued me a ticket for operating an unregistered vehicle (would have counted on my DRIVER's license as an infraction). I had 30 days to correct it (register) and present proof to a judge. They did waive the ticket and I have since registered my documented sailboats. They did not have authority to board us. But got me with my feet on land.


NY considers auxiliary sailboats and motorboats as vehicles - and arrests for DWI & DUI. Facists!

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Last edited by Delirious; 07-18-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

USCG documentation does not preclude your state of residence from requiring you to register and keep your registration up to date. Local Law enforcement can ticket you for not keeping a current sticker on your boat - but they can not require that you display your numbers on the boat (if you are USCG documented).

Of course to register you have to pay either a sales tax (legally only if new) or an excise or use tax (depends on the state). They can even hit you with a use tax if you move from one state to another - although most only do the difference between what you've already paid and what they charge percentage wise.
That they (state tax collectors) know you MUST have paid if you are registered doesn't preclude them from being bureaucratic idiots and insisting you produce a 15 year of receipt.
In the event of moving from one state to the next generally you can contact your registered in state and have them print you out a proof of payment document. You'd be silly not to take that with you. Funny, they don't do the same thing with cars - I guess enough lawsuits have taught them it's a fruitless tree.

I"m curious as to what happens when a cruiser truly detaches from land and has no fixed address. How do they maintain a state registration?

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post #18 of 25 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I"m curious as to what happens when a cruiser truly detaches from land and has no fixed address. How do they maintain a state registration?
The usual practice is to use the physical address of your 'mail forwarder'. .... thats why the homeport of "Green Cove Springs, Florida, etc." is a quite common hailing port for 'long term travelers'.
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-19-2013
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Exclamation Re: proof of paid sales tax

I have noticed on some online auctions (in MI) that they state that the sticker has a registration date until sometime in the future. That would lead someone to think that they can wait until that date to register the vessel with the state (MI). That would lead to a problem as the sales tax hasn't been paid to the state DMV (or proof of). Which you need when you get it registered in your name. The state still thinks that the original owner still owns it. That could lead to a whole different problem in itself.
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post #20 of 25 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: proof of paid sales tax

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
The usual practice is to use the physical address of your 'mail forwarder'. .... thats why the homeport of "Green Cove Springs, Florida, etc." is a quite common hailing port for 'long term travelers'.
Doing that, and assuming I use one of my children as my forwarder would mean it's not the state we are registered in, nor the state of primary use.

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