Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2019, 08:04   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Charleston South Carolina
Boat: Catalina 27
Posts: 15
Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Hi All,
In 2016 I bought a boat in the Caribbean. I had it USCG documented, and homeported in my home state of South Carolina. I have been sailing the Caribbean and US east coast since then.

I am thinking of moving to Florida and am concerned about the 6% use tax on the boat, the sale price was $200k, so we are looking at a $12K bill if the use tax is due.

I read the exemptions for the tax, one being the purchase was over 6 months ago, but it seems to state that if the purchase was outside the US there is no time limit and the use tax is due....is that correct even if the boat is now homeported in SC? See below from the FL DOR:

"The “use” part of Florida’s sales and use tax provides
uniform taxation of items. Florida’s six percent (6%) use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales
surtax, is due on a boat used or stored in Florida when:
• The boat is purchased from a person who is not a registered boat dealer and the sale
or delivery of the boat occurs in Florida;
• The boat is purchased in another state, territory of the United States, or District of
Columbia and is brought into Florida within six (6) months of the purchase date; or
• The boat is purchased in a foreign country and is brought into Florida at any time"

THX John
__________________

biohead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 08:07   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8,949
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

I think this is obscure / grey enough area, unlikely to get a consensus here.

Contact http://amrl.com/attorney/catherine-kent/
__________________

john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 08:35   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 103
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Before spending $$ on an attorney, I'd contact the state of Florida. Maybe start with a tax collector office, if they can't answer, ask them for a phone number at the state level.
OldMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 08:57   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 26
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

In Florida the registration and sales tax are handled through the county tax collector's office or the DMV in the urban areas. If you are bringing in a documented vessel registered for some time in another state, they are unlikely to ask for the original bill of sale. If you paid sales tax in the former state that should exempt you as well.
CSYChip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 09:46   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 10,037
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMan View Post
Before spending $$ on an attorney, I'd contact the state of Florida. Maybe start with a tax collector office, if they can't answer, ask them for a phone number at the state level.
+1. At least in the past Ive found the relevant FL officials to be helpful. Clearly document/explain your circumstances for them and they can at least give you an unofficial verbal opinion.

Years ago, I had a similar situation: Boat purchased in TX, sales tax paid there, Fed Documented. Years later, moved boat to FL. No problem with taxes, but did have to register it in FL...minimal cost at the time.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 09:58   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 4
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

I purchased a USCG documented, Florida registered, Locally built one off sailboat. Paid for by certified check to a brokerage in the UK. I did not pay any sales tax or Vat. Once at the DMV I renewing the registration and was informed that I owed the tax. I contacted a state tax office and was told that I would not have to pay any tax. I would contact the local DMV office that you are planning to use or go to the state tax collector. I find them to be helpful
keyway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 10:28   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida
Boat: 1988 Wilbur 34
Posts: 179
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Some years ago, as a resident of
Florida, I purchased a boat in England and I did pay the Florida sales tax. My guess is that it may still be a requirement. Also, be advised that each county may add to the basic Florida 6% sales tax so that the total requirement may be 6.5% or 7%.
Good luck.
Seighlor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 10:30   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tilloo Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
Boat: Catalina 42
Posts: 140
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by biohead View Post

"The “use” part of Florida’s sales and use tax provides
uniform taxation of items. Florida’s six percent (6%) use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales
surtax, is due on a boat used or stored in Florida when:
• The boat is purchased from a person who is not a registered boat dealer and the sale
or delivery of the boat occurs in Florida;
• The boat is purchased in another state, territory of the United States, or District of
Columbia and is brought into Florida within six (6) months of the purchase date; or
• The boat is purchased in a foreign country and is brought into Florida at any time"

THX John
Seems pretty clear if what you wrote is correct. Most states want sales/use tax if you can’t show that you paid it already in another state, which in your case you can’t. The home port that you paint on your transom matters not a lick...
Empty Pockets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 10:30   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 13
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

If it's anything like the tax on aircraft the catch all clause will not apply if the boat is imported into the USA and any tax due has been paid in the first State of residence.

Assuming you have paid the SC Use tax you shouldn't be bothered by the FL DOR.
grahamj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 10:33   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 401
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Interesting language of the FL DOR. I see where your situation has unclarity or conflict of law.

"The boat is purchased in another state, territory of the United States, or District of
Columbia and is brought into Florida within six (6) months of the purchase date; or
• The boat is purchased in a foreign country and is brought into Florida at any time"

The State of Florida provides exemption / waiver from use tax based on state to state reciprocity of having paid sales / use tax in another state.

It seems more details may be required to resolve your question.

Your boat has been USCG documented which implies that it has been imported into the USA [tariff duty paid, if any was due depending on country of origin of manufacture, e.g., NAFTA exemption]. Into which State did you import the boat after having purchased it in a foreign country [Caribbean] so as to have obtained USCG documentation? The fact that it was imported into the USA implies it was brought into a State's waters. How long was it in that State's or States' waters? Time of stay in a State's waters triggers State registration and taxation [including, sale/use, excise, property taxation].

You stated that the boat was USCG documented with a home port in South Carolina, but was the boat actually ported in South Carolina and was it registered in South Carolina. Boats must be registered in the State of South Carolina if they remain in the state for more than 60 days. Did you pay use tax to the State of South Carolina, it would have been due upon State registration? South Carolina use tax requirements: 5% Use Tax is required when a watercraft or outboard motor is purchased from an out of state (boat) dealer. If tax is paid to an out of state dealer, credit will be allowed.
You are required by Article 17, Section 12-36-1710, code of Laws of South Carolina to pay Casual Excise or Use tax. You must have a notarized bill of sale with the purchase price shown to pay the Casual Excise or Use Tax.
Casual Excise Tax - The fee for casual excise tax is 5% of the purchase price with a cap of the purchase value being $10,000 and thus the tax has a maximum of $500 if the boat and motor are purchased from same owner. When an outboard motor is purchased as one unit, the casual excise tax is 6% of the purchase price and has no maximum fee.
If you did not pay taxes out-of-state, then you submit 5% tax to the State of South Carolina with the state registration fee.

I suspect that if you have registered in another State and paid use tax then you probably can show such to Florida and it was more than six months before entry into Florida State waters then you probably can obtain exemption from Florida use taxation based on the State to State reciprocity exemption, albeit the fine points of the law may require otherwise. I have not found the actual Florida legislation that is applicable, the FL DOR wording is likely a paraphrasing of the actual laws.
Montanan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 10:37   #11
Registered User
 
flyingfin's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Cape Haze,FL
Boat: Carver,Cobia,Nacra
Posts: 334
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
I think this is obscure / grey enough area, unlikely to get a consensus here.

Contact Catherine Kent | Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay
John is right, dont guess, or let others who have not jumped thru State tax and Import duties help you guess. Hire a professional and let them get your ducks in a row!
flyingfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 11:03   #12
Registered User
 
Sand crab's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
Posts: 3,400
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

It's pretty clear that you are bringing the vessel to Florida where you will live so you owe use tax. Same as bringing in a car.


Those last 2 items would apply to a non-resident but because you are "moving to Florida" you owe.
__________________
We don't need no stinking badges.
Sand crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 11:19   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8,949
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Ya right, ask the tax collector whether or not tax is due when the legislation is ambiguous! Gee I wonder what the answer will be.

A local lawyer very experienced in boat transactions is the only way to go IMO. What's she going to charge for that answer, $500 max? Likely lots less, maybe even free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSYChip View Post
In Florida the registration and sales tax are handled through the county tax collector's office or the DMV in the urban areas. If you are bringing in a documented vessel registered for some time in another state, they are unlikely to ask for the original bill of sale. If you paid sales tax in the former state that should exempt you as well.
That last is 100% sure, the intent in the Florida executive agencies seems to be "as long as it's been **paid** for in a US jurisdiction", for registration and likely sales / use tax as well.

So if previously moored in a location that has no requirement for paid registration this is true for sure, you must register immediately, no 90-day grace period arriving in Florida, in fact supposed to register before you bring in the boat.

True whether documented or not.

So possibly (speculating here) if the jurisdiction the boat was imported requires no sales / use tax payment, then Florida may demand its pound of flesh.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 11:28   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8,949
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
It's pretty clear that you are bringing the vessel to Florida where you will live so you owe use tax. Same as bringing in a car.

Those last 2 items would apply to a non-resident but because you are "moving to Florida" you owe.
Not if the sales / use tax was already paid in another jurisdiction.

Any other East Coast state have such a tax that is much lower than Florida's?
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2019, 11:59   #15
Registered User
 
Sand crab's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
Posts: 3,400
Re: Florida Use tax on USCG Documented boat purchased outside the US

The OP says it's documented but he didn't say if it was registered in SC so I am going to assume not. He's going to owe Fla.
__________________

__________________
We don't need no stinking badges.
Sand crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, florida, men, purchase

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sales tax and use tax Saaabb General Sailing Forum 20 29-10-2016 06:39
Purchased boat, now notice Documented number Larry Florida Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 27 18-06-2016 16:35
Preferred Mortgage on USCG Documented Boat rodney_k Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 9 14-05-2014 23:03
Confusion About 'Use Tax' and 'Sales Tax' thelasthour Dollars & Cents 31 28-02-2012 16:16
Sales Tax and Use Tax - What the...? jpemb7 Dollars & Cents 7 18-01-2010 22:04



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:41.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.