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Old 28-12-2010, 20:13   #1
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Rhode Island Rsgistration ?

We live in Ma. and are spending the winter in Fl. and will be purchasing a sailboat in Fl. and are wondering how to register it in R.I. so as to not pay sales tax or other tax. We will be keeping it in R.I. on a mooring for the summer.

Also do we have to register it in fl if we have a 90day to move it to RI?

We are looking at a hunter 40.5 legend. Thank you
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Old 28-12-2010, 21:43   #2
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Did it myself. Bought in NY last but moored in Bristol and lived there until it started getting cold. Pretty straightforward. Call the RI agency, forget the exact department name but think it was Dept of Natural Resources. Send copy of documentation or title and bill of sale and money and they will mail back the registration numbers. The forms were on their web site.

No sales tax there but be careful with FL. Keep the boat out of the state at least six months and be prepared to prove it and show use and residence elsewhere. I think you have to move the boat out of FL in 30 days unless it is in a certified boat yard and under repair. Again be prepared to prove it with something like a marina receipt from out of state. I would go ahead and do the RI registration as soon as you purchase.
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Old 28-12-2010, 21:45   #3
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the link

Here's the link to RI boat registration. Has everything you need including phone numbers, addresses, where to get forms and how much it costs.

Rhode Island DEM - Boat Licensing FAQs
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Old 28-12-2010, 21:51   #4
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Warning: I am not a tax professional or a lawyer. This is not legal advice. The value of advice from an internet board is worth what you paid for it. My wife says anyone who listens to me is an idiot...

I am a resident of Mass and have a boat in RI. It's possible to do what you plan but you have to be extremely careful or you will end up owing the tax anyways.

There's no problem registering a boat in RI as a Mass resident as long as it is moored in RI. During the first six months of ownership, anytime spent in Massachusetts (e.g. one night) means a sales/use tax is owed since there is then a presumption that you intended to use the boat in Massachusetts when you purchased it. After six months, the burden is on the tax guys to show you had an intent to use it in Massachusetts when you bought the boat. They will enjoy doing this if you are stupid enough to leave some sort of paper trail that indicates this was the plan all along.

Since I don't enjoy any discussions with tax guys, I didn't cross into Massachusetts waters for over a year.

The second tax is the town property tax. This is paid to the Massachusetts town where the boat is "habitually moored". I'm not sure what this means but if you decide to have a seasonal slip or a mooring in Massachusetts, you will pay this tax. Luckily it's not much. My guess is that for your boat it will be about $300 a year.

I know even less about Florida so I won't even try.

Carl
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