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Old 11-02-2019, 11:07   #1
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Where to register ? When buying a sail boat

Hi I put an offer on a 25k USD 30ft Hunter in Florida. I probably just pay the 6% sales tax , and keep the FL registration.

I am an Australian , planning on sailing the Bahamas , and maybe the Caribbean in the future.

My question is , if I buy a different boat worth more money, ( or this one ) is it worth while trying to register a yacht some where else to avoid the 6% sales tax?

Should I be looking at registering in Australia or Bahamas ?, I realise I will only be allowed in FL for less than 90 days with the yacht.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:25   #2
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Sort of depends on if you want to keep in in Florida, and for how long.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:57   #3
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

I will be sailing the Bahamas.
Anyone experienced with the registration of yachts?
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:40   #4
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

If you plan to sail out of Florida within the 90 day period. Then forget about registration and sales taxes. However, if you think the boat might spend more time in Florida than that, or possibly in the future, just pay it and get it over with. You are talking about a sum that is most likely less than a haul-out.

The other thing, I have seen a few people buy boats and leave the jurisdicition they are in to avoid the taxes. The problem may come later down the road when they want to sell............ The boat may have to sit "somewhere" while it is up for sale, and that could take months... At least in the US, you might have to pay local taxes at that point....
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Old 11-02-2019, 13:59   #5
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Buy it and register it in a non-tax location, only if that is cheap and easy, and you will definitely never be staying in Florida.

Do you have any need for US paperwork at all?

Consider flagging it elsewhere if you are truly international anywhere, can be a visitor always just passing through.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:11   #6
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

What are the rules for longer stays in Florida. I bought my boat 10 years ago and registered it in my home state of Nevada. Paid a nominal sales/use tax (Nevada does not charge sales tax on private party sales so when I “bought “ my boat from the builders Peruvian corporation that first registered it, I paid a small transfer tax and got documents that say sales tax paid). I know in California there is no sales or use tax for boats owned more than a year. What’s the Florida story
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:15   #7
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

I thought the rules were that if you buy a boat in Florida and register it elsewhere then you have 30 days to get it out of state or the sales tax is due.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:43   #8
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

If you register it in the States find out if the local County where it is nominally located will collect a property tax on the vessel value. Some states like MD charge an excise tax ( in lieu of a sales tax). Its 5% I believe. But the counties do not the levy any property tax. I dont know how FL works.

South Carolina has a max sales tax of $300 but then the county will tax. Not sure if you have to pay a county tax if your not there.
FWIW.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:58   #9
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Hi folks, brand new here...I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes by jumping on this thread. Been looking for these same answers as I'm buying a boat but have seen some confusing info. I believe as I see it for my situation I'll be within the law and the right way to do it.

I live in Massachusetts
buying a boat in NY.
will be at a marina in RI for the season.

soooo..I'll need to register in RI and therefore will not need to pay sales tax
on the price of the boat because RI has no boat sales tax?

no sales tax paid to MA or NY...correct?

thanks!
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:07   #10
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
I thought the rules were that if you buy a boat in Florida and register it elsewhere then you have 30 days to get it out of state or the sales tax is due.
You have 10 days to leave FL unless the boat is being serviced at a yard then 20 days after the work is complete. You can also buy a cruising permit for $40 which will give you 90 days to leave the state, there is also an extension to the 90 permit but that's up near $500

I just went with the 90 day permit, the broker filled out the paperwork so it was very easy and $40 well spent
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:23   #11
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Thanks for the replies , anybody register their yacht outside of the USA, after purchasing in USA ?

bkrizmanic where did you register ? When on the permit.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:40   #12
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Well, we have a boat we bought in Maryland. Left the state right after closing and registered it with the Coast Guard then took the boat to New Hampshire (no tax due). Then we took the boat to Canada for a year. In Canada we did pay the sales tax (5% for non-residents who also own a home in Canada, which we do, otherwise 15%). This gives us the right to bring the boat in or out of Canada whenever we choose without incurring more tax, but we can't sell the boat in Canada without paying an additional 10%).

Check out the Bahamas regs in detail. There may be ways to minimize the tax as we do.

Good luck

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Old 12-02-2019, 11:52   #13
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrizmanic View Post
You have 10 days to leave FL unless the boat is being serviced at a yard then 20 days after the work is complete. You can also buy a cruising permit for $40 which will give you 90 days to leave the state, there is also an extension to the 90 permit but that's up near $500

I just went with the 90 day permit, the broker filled out the paperwork so it was very easy and $40 well spent
I believe that would be 30 days to remove the boat from Florida (and no fees required) before incurring state sales tax.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:06   #14
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I believe that would be 30 days to remove the boat from Florida (and no fees required) before incurring state sales tax.
Check FL website and seems like they have recently changed the rules. For a small boat, <5 tons the limit is now 10 days. Copied from FL DoR document.


Boats Sold to Nonresidents
A boat sold by or through a registered dealer or broker to a purchaser who is a nonresident of
Florida at the time of taking delivery of the boat in Florida is exempt. This exemption applies to the
sale of a boat, including any accessories, but does not apply to the sale of a boat trailer.
The nonresident purchaser must meet the following requirements:
 The nonresident purchaser must sign an affidavit (Form GT-500003) stating that he or
she has read the law and rules regarding the specific exemption claimed and agrees
to remove the boat from Florida.
 A boat of less than 5 net tons of admeasurement must leave Florida within 10
days of purchase or immediately be placed in the care, custody, and control of a
registered repair facility for repairs, additions, or alterations. The boat must leave
Florida within 20 days after completion of the repairs.
 If the boat is 5 net tons of admeasurement or larger, the purchaser may obtain a
set of Florida Department of Revenue boat decals, which authorize the boat to
remain in Florida waters up to 90 days after the purchase. This period may be
extended to 180 days with the purchase of a 90-day extension decal. The decals
must be obtained from the selling dealer or broker.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:11   #15
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Re: Where to register ? When buying a sail baot

If the Bahamas would allow you to register it there it might be a good thing. At one time they'd only allow newish high dollar boats to be registered Bahamian. Among the worlds' finest sailboat cruising areas in de' world, mon!
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