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Old 19-11-2010, 14:52   #1
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Taxes ?

We are liveaboards who would like to establish Florida residency - I've been told that we would have to pay an annual tax of 10% - could someone elaborate?

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Old 19-11-2010, 14:59   #2
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for what?
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Old 19-11-2010, 15:03   #3
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I assume this is for services provided by the state... garbage disposal, lighting, street maintainance etc..... but 10% of what.... income, boat value.....
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Old 19-11-2010, 15:36   #4
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You must have either misunderstood or whoever told you that is totally uninformed. Florida has no state income tax. If you do not have proof of property tax payment elsewhere, you will be required to pay 7% of the boat value as sales tax in Florida.
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Old 26-11-2010, 21:18   #5
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I've read elsewhere (on this forum) thta if you've owned the boat more than 6 months and you're simply bringing it into Florida with you, there's no sales or use tax due on it either.

Best to check directly at www.myflorida.gov if you drill down, ALL their tax policies are posted online. As are the rules about establishing residency.

Florida has recently defined "liveaboard" status and you may also want to look into that as it affects anchoring, etc. in the state.
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Old 26-11-2010, 21:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbyjane View Post
We are liveaboards who would like to establish Florida residency - I've been told that we would have to pay an annual tax of 10% - could someone elaborate?

Sweet Liberty
To establish Florida residency you need a legal Florida address and then move all your licenses, registrations, tax domicile address, - anything that a government needs an address for - to that Florida address. Simply put you move your "official" address for any governmental purposes to Florida.
- - A huge amount of retired cruisers do this via the services of cruiser mail services like St. Brendans Isle and others.
- - Once you establish your residency in Florida then there are the normal fees and taxes associated with whatever you do that involves the State of Florida. As other said there is no income tax in Florida, but there was/is(?) a personal property tax on certain investments. For cruisers living on boats there is virtually nothing but annual boat registration fees and drivers license fees. Your only other tax liability is at the Federal level.
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Old 26-11-2010, 22:05   #7
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I am a dual resident of Florida and RI and researched the tax issue very carefully before purchasing a boat in New England last year. My decision on how to proceed was based on web sites for FL tax offices and boat registration and several phone calls to state officials to clarify some of the language in the regulations and confirm my understanding of the specifics.

If you live out of state, purchase and use a boat out of state for at least six months you are not liable for any sales or use tax in the state of Florida. Be prepared to document the details.

If you are a US citizen, no matter where your official residence, if you keep your boat in the state of Florida for more than 90 days you are required to pay Florida boat registration fees. Does not matter if your boat is registered in another state or USCG documented, the state of FL wants their fees. The good news is that this is not much, maybe a couple hundred max unless you own a megayacht.

The only state tax for residents (other that sales tax, gasoline tax, hotel tax, alcohol tax, etc. ) is on real estate like your house, land, condo, whatever. No personal property tax or state income tax.

I posted links to the relevant state web sites on a previous post if you want to see the original language. See post #10 in this thread.

Where to Leave a Boat, on the Hard, in the SE USA for 9 Months?
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Old 26-11-2010, 22:23   #8
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A little known tax break on boats in Florida is "antique status". If your boat is over 25 years old - pre 1986 - the annual (registration) tax is next to nothing. I pay under $5 per year on my boat, while my dink cost me $25.
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Old 27-11-2010, 06:05   #9
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I am a dual resident of Florida and RI . . .
It is a matter of definitions - but for legal, voting, death and tax purposes you can only be a "resident" of one State of the USA at a time. By "resident" and the similarly used term "domicile," I mean an officially listed Federal tax address, voting registration and driver licensed. Especially for voting you can only have one "residency/domicile" which is designed to thwart that old Chicago saying: "vote early, vote often." You can "live" in many different States at the same time which is the case for folks with vacation homes, time shares, or even boats, but your "official residency/domicile" can only be in one State. This is advantageous primarily to the individual rather than the various government's to avoid multiple taxation of income and property. Over the years the court's have focused more on what your intent and purpose of living in a particular State is rather than just "x-days" per year. E.g. traveling salesmen and transportation workers spend most of their year in other States than their "home/residency/domicile" State.
- - Florida has a huge amount of "snow-birds" living in the State during the winter months. They come mainly from New York and other NE States. They stay over 90 days - usually up to 180 days - in Florida each year so Florida instituted a "registration only" process for vehicles owned by these folks who are "residents/domiciled" outside Florida.
- - For a rather lengthy and detailed treatise on the subject see: Domicile Guide - A seminar for the Florida Snowbird
and step through the pages.
- - For cruisers with boats who plan to spend more than 90 days in Florida there is -again- a lengthy set of Florida official documents covering the subject at: DMV Procedures Manual - Fees Table of Contents
[My wifi connection down in the eastern Carib is too slow to go through all the variations and cross references in governmental regulation procedures manuals].
- - Suffice it to say, for cruising purposes, most States piggyback their vehicle requirements for time and purposes. Their are always "loopholes" and some are mentioned by others earlier in the thread. To take advantage of these you need to do some real digging into State rules and reg's and even court cases. Rich people and politicians don't like to have to be subject to the mass of rules and reg's for the common masses and pay to get special provisions written into law. If you can find these and mimic them you can save a lot of money.
- - For foreign citizens, you can do either of the two ways mentioned by others - document in your home country or register/title with an individual State of the U.S. I would personally investigate the monetary advantages plus or negative to each along with taking into consideration the medium to long term plans for using the boat. I would suspect that documenting a boat in your home country that was purchased and located outside the home country can take some significant amount of time, so interim registration within a State of the U.S. would fill in until the final papers from your home country get approved and arrive.
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Old 27-11-2010, 06:32   #10
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It is a matter of definitions - but for legal, voting, death and tax purposes you can only be a "resident" of one State of the USA at a time.
Quite correct. One can only be a legal resident in one state at a time. I should have said I have residences in two states.




Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - For cruisers with boats who plan to spend more than 90 days in Florida there is -again- a lengthy set of Florida official documents covering the subject at: DMV Procedures Manual - Fees Table of Contents
- - Suffice it to say, for cruising purposes, most States piggyback their vehicle requirements for time and purposes. Their are always "loopholes" and some are mentioned by others earlier in the thread. To take advantage of these you need to do some real digging into State rules and reg's and even court cases. Rich people and politicians don't like to have to be subject to the mass of rules and reg's for the common masses and pay to get special provisions written into law. If you can find these and mimic them you can save a lot of money.
Went through this in great detail with FL and RI including careful reading of the regulations in both states and several phone calls back and forth. Bottom line, both states require payment of a state boat registration fee for any US owned vessel that stays in their state for more than 90 days (of course someone in an official capacity has to take notice of your presence). So if I keep my boat in RI for 6 months each summer and 6 months in FL each winter I will be required to pay a registration fee each six months.

I was unable to find any loopholes or get either state to admit the existence of one. FL does have a "Sojourner Registration" which means you still pay, just don't have to put the state numbers on the bow.

AFAIK the 90 day limit seems to be pretty standard and consistent with all the states I checked on the east coast but there may be some exceptions.
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Old 27-11-2010, 06:34   #11
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[Over my 30 minutes] - I just found a Florida registration for vessels owned/operated and registered in another State that stay in Florida waters for more than 90 days. It is called: "SOJOURNER REGISTRATION - VSRS-09" and you can read it at: DMV Procedures Manual - Table of Contents

- - Also as of Jan 13, 2010, Florida tightened up their definitions of exempt from registration when used or stored in Florida waters. See: VSRS-14
Vessel Registration Exemptions
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Old 27-11-2010, 06:53   #12
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- - For cruisers with boats who plan to spend more than 90 days in Florida there is -again- a lengthy set of Florida official documents covering the subject at: DMV Procedures Manual - Fees Table of Contents
Nice link - I missed this one when I was passing through FL. I also intend to return one day. I thought it was interesting that it states that if the boat was purchased within the last six months, bill of sale must be shown and sales tax collected unless sales tax was paid in another state...it does not say that if you've owned the boat for years, that you do not have to pay sales tax, or "use tax" as they call it when you bring the boat in. I expect this would be a tough sell to the functionaries.

I got excited about the "antique" status, until I saw the on the link it's 30 years...guess I'll have to hang out in the Caribbean for another six years! I expect that trying to combine antique with USCG documentation will be another head scratcher for the functionaries.
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Old 27-11-2010, 13:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover88 View Post
A little known tax break on boats in Florida is "antique status". If your boat is over 25 years old - pre 1986 - the annual (registration) tax is next to nothing. I pay under $5 per year on my boat, while my dink cost me $25.
That'll save me money on my 1985 Vancouver 36, so thanks for the info. I've got to pay the sales tax (6% here in Broward County) since I don't think the boat'll be ready (well, the boat yes, and me, no) to go within the 90 days.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:05   #14
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A little known tax break on boats in Florida is "antique status". If your boat is over 25 years old - pre 1986 - the annual (registration) tax is next to nothing. I pay under $5 per year on my boat, while my dink cost me $25.
Actually it is 30 years, and the vessel must be powered by its "original type powerplant".

Though one could argue that the "powerplant" of a sailboat is the sails, the state doesn't accept that argument. If you have re-powered your sailboat with any type of motor that is other than the original make and model they will deny an antique registration--or so I've been told by someone who went through this.

Details here: http://www3.flhsmv.gov/dmv/Proc/VES/VSRS-01.PDF
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Old 02-12-2010, 13:52   #15
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Most sailboats are, by definition, sail powered and the engine is usually considered the "auxiliary powerplant" which makes it something else entirely. If one wanted to enirch a lawyer, one could probably bring suit one the grounds that "powerplant" is what the Floriduh Legislature said, and "powerplant" is not "auxiliary powerplant". Statutes are usually required to be held to strict construction unless there's good reason to see legislative intent otherwise. "Original type" powerplant should similarly be held to mean original "type" not "make" "model" or "brand". Substituting a diesel-electric powerplant or steam turbine for an Atomic4 might be a change of type, but swapping out a Yanmar for a Perkins, is keeping the same "type".
Then again, that's why they call it bureaucracy in Floriduh or elsewhere.
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