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Old 13-10-2018, 06:04   #1
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USA boat tax

Hi as a U.K. citizen whatís the deal if I was to purchase a boat from the USA I was told Iíd have to pay a tax on the value of the boat. If I was to buy in USA the boat lan would be to sail it out of the country and go cruising or have it shipped into the U.K.

Probably be an older boat 1980-90s between 30-45 ft long sailing boat

Next question: do I register the boat here in the U.K. ? Will I pay import tax here in the U.K. ?

I donít think I should pay anyone anything I think itís all a bit of scare mungering myself.



Q do I pay tax to US and who how much ?
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Old 13-10-2018, 06:15   #2
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Re: USA boat tax

There is no federal level tax on the sale of a boat in the US. Each state has its own policy on sales tax of personal property. Some states have no tax, some have small taxes, others can go up to 10% or so. In almost all cases where there is a state tax it can be bypassed if you legitimately remove the boat from the state within a time frame that varies from state to state, and with varying requirements for 'proof'.

Welcome to the republic, there are more than 50 sets of laws covering your question.

As for importing it on your side, someone else will have to weigh in.
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Old 13-10-2018, 06:17   #3
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Re: USA boat tax

Yes you have to pay a stiff VAT on your side.

EU vs Brexit issues will cause complexities and complications.
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Old 13-10-2018, 07:03   #4
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Re: USA boat tax

US citizens can cruise certain areas like the Caribbean with just a state registration. I'm not sure how that would work for non citizens. But non citizens can purchase boats (or cars) and register them with a state. Non citizens cannot get federal registration which is called documentation. The good thing is state registration is usually instant and documentation take months.
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Old 13-10-2018, 09:39   #5
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Re: USA boat tax

If you're not actually bringing it back to the UK no VAT, pretty sure.

But you do need to flag the boat.

Many use Delaware, may need to setup an LLC.

Often cheaper to pay some tax rather than lawyers.
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Old 13-10-2018, 09:43   #6
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Re: USA boat tax

The tax in the U.S. depends on what state you register it in. If I buy a boat in mass which has a 6.25% sales tax but register it in Rhode Island that doesn't tax boats then I don't have to pay. If you are removing it in under a certain time frame (I think 3 months but don't quote me on that) then you don't have to pay sales tax.
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Old 13-10-2018, 09:48   #7
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Re: USA boat tax

The timeframe issues also vary (widely!) by state.

The tiny island Caribbean countries are fine with state reg, don't care as long as you pay **their** taxes.
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Old 13-10-2018, 10:14   #8
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Re: USA boat tax

[QUOTE=Sand crab;2740731]US citizens can cruise certain areas like the Caribbean with just a state registration. I'm not sure how that would work for non citizens. But non citizens can purchase boats (or cars) and register them with a state. Non citizens cannot get federal registration which is called documentation. The good thing is state registration is usually instant and documentation take months.[/QUOTE


So Iím thinking I need documentation to register that boat in another country or my country the U.K. or can I just sail off from the USA as the official owner of a USA registered boat ? That would make sense if I can do that . I recently watched an amirican on utube mention a massive tax bill on a recently purchased boat that his out of the USA on yet he said he will have to pay as the last owner never and the fines will get bigger and bigger and his respsable as the new owner !! Whatís that all about .

Is Canada any better ? because I like some boats there too .
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Old 13-10-2018, 10:28   #9
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Re: USA boat tax

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Originally Posted by asistephen View Post
So Iím thinking I need documentation to register that boat in another country or my country the U.K. or can I just sail off from the USA as the official owner of a USA registered boat ?
"Documentation" specific legal meaning here in the US, and is only for citizens.

And yes, as already been answered.

This tax / registration issue is not an important one relative to all the other factors in deciding what boat to buy.

Find the boat first, then you need to research the sales tax situation in the specific location where the boat you want to buy is located.

And then, as a completely separate issue, decide where you want to register it. This can be done ahead of time, and regardless of where you end up buying the boat.

And then you can sail where you like.

What the UK wants from you has nothing to do with the above, but **I think** only applies if you want to bring the boat there.
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Old 13-10-2018, 10:56   #10
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Re: USA boat tax

Thanks
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Old 13-10-2018, 11:02   #11
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Re: USA boat tax

Well you see the thing is unless I know the tax situation I can’t decide weather a boat boat is good value or not. So yeah it makes sense to find out now because I’m seeing boats fro Canada UsA and some USA boats in Asia. Sorry for typos I’m using my phone and it’s constantly trying to make other words !
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Old 13-10-2018, 11:17   #12
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Re: USA boat tax

As I recall, I paid a 3.5% US federal import tax on the Chinese-built Coot (a small fraction of my state's assessed use/sales tax). Don't know of an export tax, but there is likely import tax on a US boat by the receiving country.

Best to research the tax laws of the government jurisdiction where you will be importing.
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Old 13-10-2018, 11:44   #13
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Re: USA boat tax

Well, you may have to either learn the various tax laws of several hundred venues, or give up on international boat buying. And you'll need to learn how to do a title and lien search in each of those venues as well, because the boat could be a bargain--but there could be a lien of a huge amount on it.

If you want to be a global shopper, you're going to need to spend some time learning how to research all this.

If you screw it up and there's a tax lien, mechanic's lien, or other problem attached to that boat? Yeah, as the new owner you would still be responsible for all old liens.

I can buy good rice cheap in Vietnam, but it is so much simpler to buy it from my local supermarket than to try understanding the import/export laws that would be involved.
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Old 14-10-2018, 09:36   #14
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Re: USA boat tax

Just state register it here. Many have very low fees for this. Some waive sales tax if having work done and some give you time to move it out of the state. I think Florida does both. States don't care where you are from they will gladly take the processing fee.

Hire a marine closing company to assist with your purchase. They will do a lien search and will handle the docs. Some larger brokers have their own people just for this.

I sold my boat near Seattle to a person with dual Polish/British citizenship. I signed the title off and took her to the registration office and she put it in her name just like that. She did have to pay sales tax because it's a law in this state but she was going to keep it here long term anyway.


This is the fun part: Right next to the registration office was a weed store and you know it's legal here in Washington state. We went in and purchased some to celebrate. She sent pics back to her friends in Europe and they were laughing their butts off. It ain't legal in Florida btw and you absolutely can't cruise with it but here it's like buying a 6 pack. 50 states with 50 different laws.
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Old 27-10-2018, 21:27   #15
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Re: USA boat tax

Can anyone tell me if you still have to pay state use tax on a US documented yacht while cruising abroad. In advance thank you.
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