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Old 19-11-2015, 10:33   #16
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

I suspect that because you bought the boat in Va. you are subject to whatever their sales tax policy is, unless you are exempt because you have stated that you are moving the boat out of state, if so I know NC has no sales tax on used boats, and it is capped on new boats, not sure what the max is.
If you do decide to keep it in NC then there is a state registration required regardless if the boat is federally documented, you are also subject to property tax (county and or City ) if it is NC on or about Jan 1st







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Originally Posted by ztsf View Post
Check with the VA tax authorities. There may be a grace period for moving the boat out of state before owing a tax liability. However, VA may be a good place to register if the boat is documented (low or no tax).

NC is limited to $1500 (as was mentioned), but may be less for a documented boat as well.

Many states will levy "Use Tax" on a boat that is registered and being "used" in its waters. Although many states have tax reciprocity, they will require you to make up the difference between what you paid in one state vs. theirs. States may give you a grace period to pass through their waters without owing use tax, but if you stay beyond that, will require registration - which will almost certainly bring a call or letter from the tax man. Many harbormasters and tax agents have good relationships - so you may not be able to duck paying tax by not registering (which is illegal anyway). If you do get caught, usually the state will ask you to pay the tax immediately without interest or penalty.

Net is, you may not be able to avoid the sales/use tax of the state you will be using the boat in. BoatUS has a good state-by-state summary on their website. You should also contact state taxation authorities to verify the current laws and their interpretation.
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Old 19-11-2015, 11:10   #17
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

Get the selling broker to "state out of state sale" this gives you time to ck all options. Documented vessel/ don't worry about it until someone contacts you about sales tax, and reply " you are in transient " and no address. When land base is established then registrar the boat, and pay whatever !
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Old 19-11-2015, 13:17   #18
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

Does Florida have special rates for boats over 30 years old?


Vieques- cruiser crime 2015?
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:01   #19
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

Greetings Gord!

Florida does have vintage boat registeration rates. My '77 Albin A25 is about $12 a year.
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:13   #20
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

"Usually you will have to settle up in VA before you leave,...". Didn't know you needed to get clearance papers to leave Virginia.
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Old 19-11-2015, 14:45   #21
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
"Usually you will have to settle up in VA before you leave,...". Didn't know you needed to get clearance papers to leave Virginia.
Not sure what a clearance paper is, however some counties have a personal property tax, which you can get around with a documented vessel "In transact [and conduct or carry out (business).
conduct carry out negotiate do perform execute take care of discharge settle conclude finish accomplish] If you are at a marina for some time and working on the boat-ie engine problems.
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Old 19-11-2015, 16:37   #22
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

This was clarified about a month ago. Search this forum for "Florida regulations".
If Iwere you I would register it in NC or SC.( cheapest ). Keep it at Beaufort SC or Dataw SC for six months. Then move into FL. You will only have to pay county taxes then. See the regulation cited in that thread. I too am in Missouri and went through similiar decision after buying my boat in MD. Decided to bite the bullet and pay the 5% excise tax. But there are no annual county taxes in MD so it balances out somewhat.

When you close you will probably have 30 days to register it in NC. If its like MD you wont pay tax at closing. Ask the broker.
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Old 19-11-2015, 17:10   #23
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

Great information everyone!! Thanks for all the responses! Looking forward to heading south and who knows maybe some of our paths will cross. Sailing is living!!!!
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Old 19-11-2015, 20:08   #24
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

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Originally Posted by OBXSkipper View Post
I can just betcha that NC will be the cheapest state of the three especially if her port is a rural area in NC.
It won't matter where you pay the original sales tax. Florida will accept it towards their 6%. If you pay 4% in the boat's current state you will pay an additional 2% in Florida. "This camp was built to hold you and your men. There will be no escapes!"
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Old 19-11-2015, 20:40   #25
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

We bought our boat in MD, registered it in NC, no sales tax on used boats. NC used to be cheap but I believe the legislature has passed a new "dredging tax" but not sure when that kicks in. No sales tax BUT there is a property tax if you are here at the end of the year I believe. Keep it out of FL for 6 months I believe and then you can take it in with no additional sales tax due. Do a search for FL sales tax, there are several threads. I few years ago, we moved a prior boat from NC to FL and only had to pay registration - very inexpensive.
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Old 20-11-2015, 06:07   #26
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

A key point... The law in Florida allows you to avoid the sales/use tax if the boat was not originally bought for use in Florida, and if you own and use the boat outside of Florida for at least six months.

The Florida tax officials are well familiar with the dodge of buying a boat, keeping it outside of Florida for six months and a day, and then bringing it here. You cannot legally avoid the sales tax by doing that. You have to be able to provide some evidence that your plan was not--from the very start--to use the boat in Florida. You have to be able to provide some evidence that you were regularly using the boat outside of Florida before you brought it here.
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Old 20-11-2015, 06:09   #27
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

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Originally Posted by secondhand Rose View Post
Does Florida have special rates for boats over 30 years old?
For sales/use tax, no. For registration fees, yes.

To qualify for the reduced registration fee the boat must have the original type motor in it. What exactly that means is left up to the discretion of the local county administrators, but in general it means that the motor must be the same model and manufacturer as original.

So, if you replace a 40 hp Yanmar with another 40 hp Yanmar you are good. If you replace a 40 hp Yanmar with a 40 hp Westerbeke you MIGHT be okay, depending on the mood of the clerk behind the counter at the county office. If you replace a 30 hp Atomic gas engine with a 30 hp Perkins diesel, or a 40 hp Yanmar with a 65 hp Yanmar, you are definitely NOT going to qualify for the reduced registration fees.
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Old 20-11-2015, 17:13   #28
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Re: Boat registration and sales tax

Register boat in state of purchase and pay sales tax if required. When you move to FL, transfer title unless documented and register in FL. You only pay tax once unless you find a loophole like documenting in a state which doesn't require registration on documented boats.


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