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Old 15-07-2017, 22:47   #1
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Question Liveaboards and taxes?

Maybe it would be better for me to ask a CPA rather than an online sailing community, but I have a question for anyone who has any experience with my situation.
If I buy a boat to live aboard, can I legally call it my home even though it doesn't have a permanent physical address, and could it be used as a tax deduction of some sort? I'm 18 and have always worked under the table, so this whole tax thing is kind of new to me.

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Old 15-07-2017, 23:56   #2
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Re: Liveaboards and taxes?

No idea how it works in the USA, but in the UK and Europe, you are liable for tax in the country that you live in for 183 days of the year. This is why so many cruisers flee Spain for 6 months of the year. Generally, you can't give up tax residency of one country without taking it on in another, especially if you still have ties to that original country.

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Old 17-07-2017, 05:48   #3
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Re: Liveaboards and taxes?

An indication of where you live would help. We have a lot of participants on this forum from all around the world.

That said, if you are in the U.S. then you can call a boat your home, and you can get a mortgage interest deduction for it on that basis. That, of course, is assuming that you borrow money to buy it. Which might be an issue if you are only 18 and have never worked "above the table" before!

Unless you actually work out of your home, though, the mortgage interest deduction is the only one available. You do get deductions for state taxes that you pay, and some of those may (usually do) apply to both homes and boats. You don't get any other special deductions, though, just because you own a home.
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Old 17-07-2017, 07:21   #4
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Re: Liveaboards and taxes?

In the US, if your deductible home expenses (mortgage interest, property tax) are the only deductions you have, they are unlikely to exceed the "standard deduction" - so you'd probably end up taking that.

If you've been working under the table thus far and doing well at it, why change? Better off financially not to become part of "the system".
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Old 18-07-2017, 12:39   #5
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Re: Liveaboards and taxes?

Thanks all for the replies.
I'm from North Carolina, but am currently working on a fishing boat in Alaska. I earn a crew share at the end of the year, and will have about $8,000 that I plan to buy an old boat with. I've got experience day sailing my brothers soverel 28 and cruising in my dads Morgan 30, and have done a fair amount of work on both those boats, so I realize boat refit is no cakewalk.
I have my eye on a $5,000 cal 29 in Bellingham, Washington. Only downside is the Atomic 4 isn't running. Planning to drive down the Alaskan highway with a fellow crew mate and maybe buy it after fishing season. Hopefully it will still be available.
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Old Yesterday, 10:11   #6
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Re: Liveaboards and taxes?

Using a mortgage deduction isn't going to work for you.
However, most likely (depending where you berth the boat) you will be paying property tax on the boat.
But as said above, tax write offs, deductions, etc. ain't going to work for someone flying under the tax radar.

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