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Old 10-01-2012, 07:14   #31
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Actually, the "use tax" is to get something from those who bought the boat elsewhere, didn't pay sales taxes on it there, and yet intend to move it to and use it in Florida (or most any other state, for that matter--most of them have some sort of "use tax").

Otherwise everyone would just buy their boats in one of the few states that do not charge any sales tax, and then immediately ship them to wherever they really wanted to use them in the first place. The use tax is a "gotcha" for people who might try to do that.
Ok, since the question keeps coming up I thought I would get the "official" definition. Your description is correct but state of FL adds some additional gotchas to cover other possible scenarios. They don't want anyone slipping through the cracks. From the FL DoR website.

Use Tax

Use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase. For example:
  • If you buy a taxable item in Florida and didn't pay sales tax, you owe use tax.
  • If you buy an item tax-exempt intending to resell it and then use the item in your business or for personal use, you owe use tax.
  • If you buy a taxable item outside Florida and bring or have it delivered into this state and you didn't pay sales tax on the item, you owe use tax.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:57   #32
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If your a not a Florida resident, it looks like your best option to avoid FL tax is to get the boat out of FL within 20 days and make sure it stays in another state for at least six months. It looks like they can argue that it was a sham to avoid FL tax but if you keep it out of state for at least six months (and document it well), I think it would be hard for them to prove (assuming one did not really do it JUST to avoid the tax). I'm not a fan of avoiding taxes when it's due but I don't think it's fair to tax every boat that sails into FL water. If they provide an exemption and it applies to you, then it's fair to everyone. The obvious issue is that since most states have a similar taxing system, you will be taxed by the state you move it to. You might be safe if you move it to Delaware or another state that does not have such a tax.

Disclaimer: this is not intended to be legal, tax or accounting advice in any jurisdiction.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:24   #33
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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Originally Posted by Newbe View Post
If your a not a Florida resident, it looks like your best option to avoid FL tax is to get the boat out of FL within 20 days and make sure it stays in another state for at least six months. It looks like they can argue that it was a sham to avoid FL tax but if you keep it out of state for at least six months (and document it well), I think it would be hard for them to prove (assuming one did not really do it JUST to avoid the tax). I'm not a fan of avoiding taxes when it's due but I don't think it's fair to tax every boat that sails into FL water. If they provide an exemption and it applies to you, then it's fair to everyone. The obvious issue is that since most states have a similar taxing system, you will be taxed by the state you move it to. You might be safe if you move it to Delaware or another state that does not have such a tax.

Disclaimer: this is not intended to be legal, tax or accounting advice in any jurisdiction.
I tried googling this, but information is somewhat convoluted.

Consider the scenario:

USCG or FL state registered boat purchased.

Boat is then re-flagged as a Canadian boat.

Boat stays in FL due to repairs/upgrades required.

Is tax payable? (Canadian tax is payable once the boat actually comes within Canadian jurisdiction, but that should be irrelevant to this discussion)
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:37   #34
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
I tried googling this, but information is somewhat convoluted.

Consider the scenario:

USCG or FL state registered boat purchased.

Boat is then re-flagged as a Canadian boat.

Boat stays in FL due to repairs/upgrades required.

Is tax payable? (Canadian tax is payable once the boat actually comes within Canadian jurisdiction, but that should be irrelevant to this discussion)
AFAIK, if you re-flag to Canada, you could then get a CBP cruising license and be exempt from Florida tax as long as the license is valid. When the license expires, if you do not renew it, you would then be liable for Florida registration, but at that point the purchase would be 1 year ago, therefore not liable for sales tax.

Again, AFAIK, sales tax is due at the time of purchase if you are a Florida resident, or if you register the vessel in Florida within 6 months of purchase.

You really need to inquire with a broker or documentation professional.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:21   #35
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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AFAIK, if you re-flag to Canada, you could then get a CBP cruising license and be exempt from Florida tax as long as the license is valid. When the license expires, if you do not renew it, you would then be liable for Florida registration, but at that point the purchase would be 1 year ago, therefore not liable for sales tax.

Again, AFAIK, sales tax is due at the time of purchase if you are a Florida resident, or if you register the vessel in Florida within 6 months of purchase.

You really need to inquire with a broker or documentation professional.
Thanks. I just found a good thread on this topic here

Looks like us Canucks need to follow a few rules, but get "special treatment" as opposed to most of the rest of the world.

But then we should
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Old 10-01-2012, 13:11   #36
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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Originally Posted by Newbe View Post
If your a not a Florida resident, it looks like your best option to avoid FL tax is to get the boat out of FL within 20 days and make sure it stays in another state for at least six months.
But, once again, you have to remember that most other states have rules on sales/use taxes that are very similar to Florida. Going to another state is only going to change who you pay the tax to. It is not going to get you out of paying (with very few and specific exceptions).
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Old 10-01-2012, 14:37   #37
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Re: Time out of Florida?

In my limited kowledge of these things, if a Canadian buys a boat in Florida, that's still a SALE in Florida and sales tax is due unless the boat goes away pronto. And there's no guarantee that the cruising permit will be issued, in fact it cannot be issued until after that boat has left US waters for 15(?) days, so the boat still has to go away. And that situation, gone for 15 days and no guarantee of a re-issue, returns annually.

While everyone is venue shopping...they'll have to get insurance unless they're anchored out all the time. The insurer will want to know "Where is the boat registered? What will you home waters be?" and that may lead to more complications.

Anyone ever watch "Pinkie and the Brain" ?
Tomorrow, we're going to conquer the world! Ahuh.
More like, you're going to render unto Caeser, before he seizes the boat. Most of 'em actually prefer to let you get away with it for a while, so the compounded interest and penalties can be added in. That pays the State much more than bank interest would.
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Old 10-01-2012, 16:05   #38
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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In my limited kowledge of these things, if a Canadian buys a boat in Florida, that's still a SALE in Florida and sales tax is due unless the boat goes away pronto. And there's no guarantee that the cruising permit will be issued, in fact it cannot be issued until after that boat has left US waters for 15(?) days, so the boat still has to go away. And that situation, gone for 15 days and no guarantee of a re-issue, returns annually.
I have first-hand knowledge that 15 days out of the country is not an absolute. It's up to the CBP issuing officer. Technically, the 15 days is the time between a cruising license expiring (or surrendered) and the next one can be issued. It doesn't technically apply to a first-time license, subject to individual jurisdiction interpretation. A friend (non US citizen/non-resident) purchased a foreign flagged boat in the US, re-flagged to a different foreign country and was issued a cruising license by CBP. The boat sat on the hard in the US for a couple of months after purchase. After splash, he visited CBP requesting a 'permission to proceed' and explained he was heading for the Bahama's to wait out the 15 days before returning. He was issued a cruising license on the spot. The officer has the latitude to do so (of course there is no guarantee).
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:10   #39
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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I also have to say that, unless you are comparing it to one of the zero-tax states (of which there are very few) then I don't see how you can consider Florida an "assault tax" state. Their tax and registration laws are very much in line with most other coastal states.

In any case, unless you immediately move the boat to a zero-tax state, you are going to have to pay taxes to someone!

If you compare Florida's tax laws to Taxachutes, OR New York, you are completly correct, compared to those states Florida's tax laws are very affordable, and reasonable.

But I am a Texan, I have no intention of changing my residency to any other state. I own a boat, and a dinghy, that I have legally bought and registered in Texas, (did you know documented vessels and their tenders until recently were NOT required to be registered at the state level?...the law was changed in response to FLorida's "assualt tax law")

I live in Texas, I have a right to vote here, and anytime a new tax law is considered, I have the right to vote for or against it. Unless a majority of my fellow Texans feel the new tax is fair and justified, it's not going to pass.

Now I may want to visit Florida...and bring my boat there, but... if I leave my boat there too long I may be "ASSUALT TAXED", and required to pay a "use fee, registration fee", or whatever the G& D(*&M bureaucrats want to call it, it is a tax... On me.

I didn't get to vote on it. I didn't agree on it. I'm not even a resident of that state. Yet I have to pay it, or submit a lot of paperwork to get out of having to pay it.

Now if the good people of Florida want to pay more in taxes they are welcome to do so, ...but if they want my money, forget it, I'm not a member of that state, and they have no right to take it. If they insist, I will no longer visit their state.

If the good people of Florida want to visit Texas they are welcome to do so. And as long as they do not stay long enough to meet the Texas residency requirement of 1 year, they will have no fear of being "assualt taxed".

If I was a resident of Florida I would have the right to vote there, and would have no problem paying whatever taxes I voted for.

What happened to "NO Taxation Without Representation"???

It is an "Assualt Tax", because without planning, I may be forced to pay a registration tax in up to 4 different states in the same year while visiting those states, and possibly a "use tax" in two of them.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:44   #40
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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If you compare Florida's tax laws to Taxachutes, OR New York, you are completly correct, compared to those states Florida's tax laws are very affordable, and reasonable.

But I am a Texan, I have no intention of changing my residency to any other state. I own a boat, and a dinghy, that I have legally bought and registered in Texas, (did you know documented vessels and their tenders until recently were NOT required to be registered at the state level?...the law was changed in response to FLorida's "assualt tax law")

I live in Texas, I have a right to vote here, and anytime a new tax law is considered, I have the right to vote for or against it. Unless a majority of my fellow Texans feel the new tax is fair and justified, it's not going to pass.

Now I may want to visit Florida...and bring my boat there, but... if I leave my boat there too long I may be "ASSUALT TAXED", and required to pay a "use fee, registration fee", or whatever the G& D(*&M bureaucrats want to call it, it is a tax... On me.

I didn't get to vote on it. I didn't agree on it. I'm not even a resident of that state. Yet I have to pay it, or submit a lot of paperwork to get out of having to pay it.

Now if the good people of Florida want to pay more in taxes they are welcome to do so, ...but if they want my money, forget it, I'm not a member of that state, and they have no right to take it. If they insist, I will no longer visit their state.

If the good people of Florida want to visit Texas they are welcome to do so. And as long as they do not stay long enough to meet the Texas residency requirement of 1 year, they will have no fear of being "assualt taxed".

If I was a resident of Florida I would have the right to vote there, and would have no problem paying whatever taxes I voted for.

What happened to "NO Taxation Without Representation"???

It is an "Assualt Tax", because without planning, I may be forced to pay a registration tax in up to 4 different states in the same year while visiting those states, and possibly a "use tax" in two of them.
Preface: I'm not defending Florida's rules!

Reading what you wrote, I glean the difference between Florida and Texas is the length of time you can visit on your boat before you have to register your vessel. You stated Texas it's 1 year, Florida is 90 days. If, when you register your vessel in Florida, you've owned it less than 6 months, you are then liable for use tax (or the difference between the rate of sales tax you paid and 6%).

The Florida vessel registration fee is based on boat size, not value. Sales/Use tax is based on price paid for the vessel.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:49   #41
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Re: Time out of Florida?

Actually, Capn Bill, you've got a few facts mixed up. Florida's state sales is HIGHER than New York's. Florida 6%, NY 4% last I checked. In all states counties and municipalities also levy sales tax, and you'll find than brings the combined sales tax rate up over 8% in parts of both states--roughly equal.

I'd bet you'll also find that Florida and Texas treat visiting motor vehicles the same way. Boats and cars, makes no difference, you visit for one day past the deadline and you'll be required to re-register and re-title the vehicle in all states, AFAIK. I know that because I was once sojourning in Illinois, and the neighbors reported some insurance inspectors coming round asking questions about car with out of state plates, how long it had been there. Yes, the insurers also sometimes ask questions.

Doesn't matter where you come from or what you like, once you enter sovereign territory you're at the mercy of the sovereign. Some states declare you to be a state citizen after residing there for as little as 30 days, be glad they only want money for the boat, and aren't trying to tax your whole income as well.

Move your boat to a state with personal property taxes instead of sales tax (and there are several on the east coast) and after they tax your boat, they'll start asking what other property you have as well. "Gimmee Dollah!"

Now if you Texicans would just put up toll bridges on the Rio Grande and turn a blind eye, you could probably stop collecting ALL the other taxes.
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Old 11-01-2012, 14:50   #42
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Re: Time out of Florida?

You need to check the laws in Texas, capn_bill, because you are DEAD WRONG about them! As a visitor from Florida, if I keep my boat in Texas for more than 90 days I am required to register it. That is EXACTLY the same as Florida. The difference is that the price for that registration is MORE in Texas than Florida charges for comparably sized boats. Now who is "assault taxing"?

But you won't find me complaining about that. If I keep my boat that long in Texas then I am, very obviously, going to be making use of the infrastructure--those things that Texans have paid for with their taxes. I certainly don't expect to just FREELOAD off of Texans for those things simply because I'm a visitor instead of a resident.
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Old 11-01-2012, 15:22   #43
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Okay I have to speak up. I live in Houston and Palm Beach. If you want to talk about freeloading drive past the ship channel or go to Galveston. The entire nation uses Houston as the dumping ground for all sorts of toxic crap. From the refineries, chemical plant, offshore drilling to the nasty stuff from as far away as Chicago that float down the Mississippi River and ends up on the beach in Galveston. Not to mention the air pollution. Florida is beautiful but Texas carrying the burden for many states including FL. It's the old "yea we must have that but not in my back yard" problem. Their should be a pollution tax put every barrel of oil taken out of Texas and every barrel of refined product and chemical produced. Hey, you can't stay in a hotel room at DIsney World without paying a room tax. .
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Old 11-01-2012, 15:24   #44
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Ps please excuse my typing. My iPad keeps changing some words on me. It's annoying as hell.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:52   #45
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Re: Time out of Florida?

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You need to check the laws in Texas, capn_bill, because you are DEAD WRONG about them! As a visitor from Florida, if I keep my boat in Texas for more than 90 days I am required to register it. That is EXACTLY the same as Florida. The difference is that the price for that registration is MORE in Texas than Florida charges for comparably sized boats. Now who is "assault taxing"?

But you won't find me complaining about that. If I keep my boat that long in Texas then I am, very obviously, going to be making use of the infrastructure--those things that Texans have paid for with their taxes. I certainly don't expect to just FREELOAD off of Texans for those things simply because I'm a visitor instead of a resident.
You are correct, the use time has again dropped, and again the reasons quoted by the press are the law was changed in reponse to other states laws.

Let's keep this up until you just have to pay a use tax, and registration in all 50 states if you have a boat there for more than a day.

I'm glad you have the desire and the willingness to support these vast bureaucracies that obstensively have our best interests at heart and are just taking our money to help the "sea kittens".

In my mind a registration was paid to "register" my boat for a year, and no further "registration" should be neccessary until the first one expires, or I permanently relocate my boat.

If the state of Florida, and now Texas wants me to limit my time there to 90 days to prevent "wear and tear" on the infrastructure, then so be it.
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