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post #21 of 43 Old 06-13-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post

Technically, there is no State of Registry, as it's federal registration. There is a hailport, but I think it's the mailing address that typically triggers the departments of revenue..
State of registry, as in the state on the stern of the boat.

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post #22 of 43 Old 06-13-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

Hailing port for US documentation will have no direct impact on state taxation. Generally, those states that impose boat taxes will tax boats that are used in that state for a set period of time (for example 90 days) or boats that are located in the state at a fixed point in time (for example January 1st). This will be regardless of what location is on the stern of the boat. Sales and use tax can be more complicated, but again, it is generally related to either where the boat is purchased or where it will be located (or a combination). Documentation also will not prevent a state (or locality) from requiring a registration "fee" if the boat is housed there.
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post #23 of 43 Old 06-13-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
This does not work. When the boat is moored, within three miles of a State's shore, you are in their state. The only exception is when you are passing through, as interstate commerce laws prevent the state from taxing someone for just passing through.
But it does work when the boat is in a foreign country. In the particular case the boat actually never entered the US, though it was briefly in the USVI.

Greg

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post #24 of 43 Old 06-13-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
A bigger question I would ask is: Why bother to document the boat at all?
Stu, the simple answer is that I have decided to finance the boat, and the lender requires that I document it. I usually pay cash for everything, but the rate was good (less than my investments are earning) and there aren't many opportunities for tax-deductible interest these days.

The more complicated answer: Even if I was paying cash I'd probably document because the vessel is already documented. A broker friend told me that switching a vessel back and forth between documenting and titling can complicate searches for existing or past liens, and therefore could scare off lenders in the future, affecting potential resale.

Regarding my question that led to starting this thread, I decided to make Rock Hall, MD my hailing port. The reason is entirely pragmatic - I want to place hailing port at the bottom of the sugar scoop under the swim platform, and there is limited space there. Rock Hall is shorter, especially if I use lower case in the name. Swarthmore will not fit at an acceptable height. After seeing some of the discussion, it also seemed to potentially reduce taxaction questions using the same state where I am buying, docking, and using the vessel, even thought that's not the state where I live.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
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post #25 of 43 Old 06-13-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

That is a pretty good reason. But consider ACCIDENT, BORING, CRAPPO or SAVAGE ... all Maryland places. All pretty funny with "MD" appended, too.
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post #26 of 43 Old 06-14-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
... it also seemed to potentially reduce taxaction questions using the same state where I am buying, docking, and using the vessel, even thought that's not the state where I live.
Your home state is still likely to send you a letter requiring that you prove the vessel was not in their waters, and/or that you've paid sales tax to a reciprocal state. That letter often comes in the form of an intimidating bill, based on blue book value. Just keep copies of all your seasonal and winter storage contracts. BTDT.

If you've paid tax elsewhere and your home state considers that an offset to what you would owe them (reciprocal), this really doesn't matter. Just keep proof of having paid too. Although, if your boat is never in your home state, they can't tax it. The one catch to be careful of, is most states have a grace period before tax is due, often around 90 days. This is to allow for free transient passage. However, states typically assess tax instantly on their own residents.


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Last edited by Minnewaska; 06-14-2016 at 02:12 AM.
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post #27 of 43 Old 06-14-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

If you're looking for a short name, there's Ai, GA. I think that might be the shortest. There are a whole bunch of towns with three-letter names:
Job, WV
Non, OK
Zap, ND
Not, MO
and the list goes on...

(I probably should have added a smilie. )

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post #28 of 43 Old 06-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

Thanks for the advice.

I'm really not interested in choosing a hailing port that I have no connection to. I'm looking to reduce confusion, not increase it.

I already told the finance/documentation person to use Rock Hall, MD. That's the boat's true hailing port, so I think it makes some sense.

I'm paying 5% excise tax to Maryland. I'll use the boat there and rarely, if ever, leave the state. PA charges 6%, so they may ask me for the remaining 1%, but since I'll not use their waters I will resist. My current boat is in PA, where I paid the sales tax. Our marina in PA has lots of boats registered in other states (not sure about USCG documentation, though), and I've never heard of PA coming after anyone for sales tax. They might send letters, but they apparently don't have the "binocular corps" that Maryland does.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
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post #29 of 43 Old 06-14-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
This does not work. When the boat is moored, within three miles of a State's shore, you are in their state.
Nope! If the boat, even with a hailing port that lists the state demanding revenue, never physically enters that state .... then its up to the state to prove that such boat actually entered that state; and, if the state can't clearly & incontrovertibly prove otherwise, then 'nada'.
In such situations, once you declare a boat to 'in principal usage' in another state by paying the 'required' boat taxes to that other state, the hailing port state has NO claims, unless the boat does enter the hailing port state and over-stays that home state's 'grace period'. The same would apply to any other real property that you own and exclusively use .... in another state.

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.
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post #30 of 43 Old 06-14-2016
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Re: Advice on hailing port for USCG Documentation

If you use CA for a hailing port California will come looking for tax dollars; even if the boat has never been in the state or Pacific for that matter. To prove the vessel's location I had to send a series of receipts (gas, moorage, haul out, etc.) that included my documentation number & transaction date to the state so they would quit pestering me for payment.

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