Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Boat Purchase and Financing Canada
These are good questions for an accountant. You seem to have the concept of use tax, but every single state makes their own rules, which are further complicated by reciprocity they decide between themselves as well. Reciprocity is whether you will get credit for sales/use tax you paid to another state. Further, the rules are usually different for residents and non-residents of the specific state. For example, non-residents can sometimes defer paying sales/use tax if they leave quickly enough. Quickly also being define individually by state. Residents are often subject to these taxes instantly.
Here is a straw man that you should have checked out.
Contract for the boat and pay to have it delivered to the US (presumably Washington State) for closing. This should satisfy the financing company. You will have to document the boat with the USCG (assumes you are US citizen), not just title it in your home state, so that you can return to Canada (not following why returning is important, btw). Leave Washington before their sales/use tax is imposed upon a non-resident. You may have an affidavit that is required to prove you left. When you're ready to bring her to California, pay use tax to CA then. You can research reciprocity between these States, if you're really trying to save a percent or two, but then you'll actually have to stay somewhere long enough to owe it to them. Sounds funny, doesn't it. Most are trying to get out.
This must be one heck of a boat, as there are thousands available for sale in CA. The only final point is that you can rightfully manage these laws, if you are actually doing what you say you are doing. If you say you've left the State or Country, but haven't, or register elsewhere, then bring her to CA to stay off their radar, that's tax evasion. A nasty, sometimes criminal, offense. At the least, the penalties and interest are incredibly harsh and States are in such dire financial condition, they are paying to track rich boat owners down to extract the vig.
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