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In a few weeks I'll be going to Sint Maarten to sail back my recent purchase. She is a USCG Documented Vessel.
I have a permanent address in Florida.
I currently working in Texas and will likely be here for a couple years before returning to Florida.
How is registration handled?
Should I register in Florida or Texas, do I have a choice?
I read an article in ehow.com which pretty much says you don't have to pay tax but I'm skeptical.
Your wisdom and experience is appreciated :)
 

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In a few weeks I'll be going to Sint Maarten to sail back my recent purchase. She is a USCG Documented Vessel.
I have a permanent address in Florida.
I currently working in Texas and will likely be here for a couple years before returning to Florida.
How is registration handled?
Should I register in Florida or Texas, do I have a choice?
I read an article in ehow.com which pretty much says you don't have to pay tax but I'm skeptical.
Your wisdom and experience is appreciated :)
Both Texas and Florida will insist on sales tax being paid.
 

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Well, tax wisdom should come from your accountant, not here.

That disclaimer aside, your taxes will be due in the location that the boat is kept. The duration at which triggers such sales/use taxes changes on territory. I am not aware of a statute that triggers sales/use tax solely based upon the address you put on the USCG documentation. However, you can expect that State to assume you owe them tax and to have to prove the boat was never there.
 

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If you reside or own a home in Florida they will insist on sales tax being paid. Both Florida and Texas don't have or have very little state income tax, so they are serious about their sales tax!
 

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If you reside or own a home in Florida they will insist on sales tax being paid. Both Florida and Texas don't have or have very little state income tax, so they are serious about their sales tax!
I do not believe any State can assess sales or use tax unless the sale takes place within their state or the boat is used withing there state. Only stands to reason, doesn't it? That is distinct from them having an automatic notice to anyone on the USCG database, with an address within their state, receiving a notice of tax due. You then have to prove it isn't. I have experience with this one. Sent a few years of marina slip contracts in another State and they went away. Cost about a buck in postage.

It's unclear where the OP intends to take the boat.
 

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I do not believe any State can assess sales or use tax unless the sale takes place within their state or the boat is used withing there state. Only stands to reason, doesn't it? That is distinct from them having an automatic notice to anyone on the USCG database, with an address within their state, receiving a notice of tax due. You then have to prove it isn't. I have experience with this one. Sent a few years of marina slip contracts in another State and they went away. Cost about a buck in postage.

It's unclear where the OP intends to take the boat.
I'm pretty sure if he keeps his boat in Arkansas and registers in Texas he will owe taxes in Texas. Same with Florida. If he keeps and registers his boat in North Carolina he won't owe sales tax but will be held responsible for property tax.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will be living aboard in Texas, which is why I mentioned working and living there for the next couple years. The boat is currently USCG Documented in Virginia I believe.
 

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I'm pretty sure if he keeps his boat in Arkansas and registers in Texas he will owe taxes in Texas. Same with Florida. If he keeps and registers his boat in North Carolina he won't owe sales tax but will be held responsible for property tax.
This is just not right. Property tax is only assessed on residents. Sales tax, only on sales within the jurisdiction. Use tax only on items used within the jurisdiction.

The issue may be that Texas, in your example, won't allow registration in their state for those that don't pay (or perhaps even legally owe) their sales/use tax. However, if the boat isn't in Texas, then don't register it there. as there is no requirement to do so. Easy.
 

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It does not matter where the boat was built, if she is documented, then she has already been imported.
You may register the documented home port anywhere in the US or her territories, whether you live there or have ever even been there, or not. However, if you put a port of registry in a city with excise tax, they will attempt to tax you. If the boat is your residence then the tax is minor; if not it can be substantial.
Many states have a "use" tax, like Fla. If you keep the boat in their waters for more than a specified time, then you must pay this tax, whether you live there, or not. Other states, like RI only charge an annual registration fee, no tax.
Sales tax is just that, not some unspecified tax because of vessel registry; if the sale did not take place in that state, then sales tax is not applicable, but if you register a boat in a taxable state, a sales tax differential may come into play, with the state you did pay sales tax. There are numerous states that do not require local registration of a documented vessel, SC being one; they wouldn't even let me register it there (therefore no state numbers or DMV paper work), so no tax or registration, but there is excise tax (if I kept the boat there).
 
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It does not matter where the boat was built, if she is documented, then she has already been imported..
Are you sure?.. My boat has never been imported, has never been to the u.s., and is documented. I'm afraid when I do bring it here.. I'll be paying an import fee. I would sure like to be wrong.. so I sure hope you are right!
 

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Are you sure?.. My boat has never been imported, has never been to the u.s., and is documented. I'm afraid when I do bring it here.. I'll be paying an import fee. I would sure like to be wrong.. so I sure hope you are right!
Last time I was involved in this, a vessel had to be American built or 51% of her equipment and machinery had to be produced in the US to be documented. Perhaps things have changed about where the vessel can be built, but I'm pretty sure if it's documented, then it is already imported. Not positive, but pretty sure.
 

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Last time I was involved in this, a vessel had to be American built or 51% of her equipment and machinery had to be produced in the US to be documented. Perhaps things have changed about where the vessel can be built, but I'm pretty sure if it's documented, then it is already imported. Not positive, but pretty sure.
Mine was built in south africa, so.. I don't understand how it could have been imported, it has never been here. Like I said, I hope you're right, and I'm wrong.
 
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