I am considering buying a 40+ footer. Are there any ways around paying state sales taxes. Buying oversea, for example. Are there advantages to declaring one place vs. another as your documented home port?
More and more states are getting wise to "out of state" or "foreign" ownership. Connecticut, for example, charges a fee if a boat stays moored in CT for more than 30 (I think) days. This is regardless of what state it''s registered in. Foreign registration may make U.S. documentation difficult...and subject you to really exciting taxes like TVA or VAT, which make U.S. sales taxes look like chump change. By the time you''ve paid a service (or lawyer) to look into it, paying the tax might be cheaper. It would certainly be simpler.
Things are worse if you live in Pennsylvania. I have a sailboat that I bought in New Jersey and keep in Maryland. I paid tax on the boat in New Jersey based on their laws then a little more to Maryland when I moved it there because of differences in the tax laws. I had no problem with these taxes. Pennsylavania wrote me a letter informing me that if my boat was ever used (defined as touching the shore of) in Pennsylvania I would owe them a 6% USE FEE. This is not a tax and it does not matter where or how much tax I might have paid elsewhere. Needless to say, I''ll never take it to PA.
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