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Old 01-02-2015, 11:46   #31
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

I suspected as much.

It's their loss: the alternative will be that I will be spending my money in SC instead of paying a local marina to keep my boat for two months.

One may also note that the way the law is written any charges for 'tax evasion' would be dubious at best - why not make it something unambiguous, like '60 days in a rolling 120 day period'? I'll run it by the assessor as you suggested.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:45   #32
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by lfabio View Post
I suspected as much.

It's their loss: the alternative will be that I will be spending my money in SC instead of paying a local marina to keep my boat for two months.

One may also note that the way the law is written any charges for 'tax evasion' would be dubious at best - why not make it something unambiguous, like '60 days in a rolling 120 day period'? I'll run it by the assessor as you suggested.
Be aware that you will be paying personal property taxes on your boat if you keep it in SC. It may vary by county but I think the law states that if the boat remains in SC for more than 180 days you are liable for personal property taxes. You don't have to live in SC to be liable for the tax.

Nearly every state collects taxes on boats, either sales tax when you bring it into the state or some sort of personal property tax each year it's in the state. Trying to avoid these taxes is popular fodder for boating forums, but just remember that free legal or tax advice you get on a boating forum is worth exactly what you pay for it.


Whatever you get from the tax assessor, try to get it in writing. Also, in many cases a boat like yours qualifies as a "second home" at a lower tax rate. Ask for the lower rate. You may have to submit a form.
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Old 01-02-2015, 14:45   #33
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
In the real world, I think this would be classified as "tax evasion" and frowned upon by the state. You may feel its technically legal but you may find otherwise.
----
I think you will find that removing your vessel from Georgia waters before the 60 day period is up is quite legal. Georgia does not have the power to prevent vessels from leaving the state just to charge additional taxes. Even if they did, what would be the cutoff time? 3 days? 30 days? 59 days?
That's not realistic.
Moving your boat to avoid paying taxes would be tax avoidance, not tax evasion. Tax avoidance is quite legal.
Imho lol.
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Old 01-02-2015, 15:08   #34
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

Remember what I posted about free legal and tax advice on the Internet.
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Old 01-02-2015, 15:40   #35
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

Ron,
I am aware of that, yes. However, the boat will leave for the Med in mid-April and won't be back stateside for 3 or 4 years. I therefore am not concerned about long-term tax concerns. My present issue is just for the period from now to then.

I did ask someone who was not free and he agreed on asking the comptroller, which I did. I'm waiting for a reply and will of course publish it here.

News tomorrow hopefully.
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Old 01-02-2015, 16:05   #36
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Ron,
I am aware of that, yes. However, the boat will leave for the Med in mid-April and won't be back stateside for 3 or 4 years. I therefore am not concerned about long-term tax concerns. My present issue is just for the period from now to then.

I did ask someone who was not free and he agreed on asking the comptroller, which I did. I'm waiting for a reply and will of course publish it here.

News tomorrow hopefully.
Knowing you're doing thing the right way brings great peace of mind.
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Old 01-02-2015, 16:38   #37
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think your crazy to keep it in Ga., put it in Fl.
Is it really different? Florida gives you 90 days, but then must register there if from out of state. Seems the same to me. Also curious about the property tax. Since you were a Georgia resident, I can see it, but if not a resident, would Georgia still charge property taxes?

There sure are a lot of boats stored in Brunswick during hurricane season, and I don't recall seeing many Georgia stickers on them. I'm planning to spend this hurricane season there (again), but may have to move every couple of months....We'll see.

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Old 01-02-2015, 17:52   #38
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

Nearly all states have a registration requirement after a certain number of days. Just registering the boat would seem to be less costly and a lot less stressful than running it out of state at 58 days or any other possibility.
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Old 01-02-2015, 21:02   #39
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Remember what I posted about free legal and tax advice on the Internet.
I assume that includes yours?
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:43   #40
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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I assume that includes yours?
Of course it does. Notice though I don't give legal or tax advice as such I advise people to ask qualified lawyers or tax professionals. There's a difference.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:03   #41
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Of course it does. Notice though I don't give legal or tax advice as such I advise people to ask qualified lawyers or tax professionals. There's a difference.
Yes there is.
Before I retired I was an Enrolled Agent and was equipped with a law school degree. I spent years working in the accounting field in the state of Georgia.
Feel free to disagree with my opinions.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:45   #42
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

Mike,
thank you, your opinion is of course relevant - more so given your professional path. If I were to interpret the law as it is written, I would also have to agree. In any case, I am hoping for a definitive and authoritative answer from the office of the comptroller. I will give them 48 hours to answer my email, then I will follow up by phone. As you folks may have noticed, I am somewhat persistent.

It is, by the by, absolutely true that there are a very significant number of US flagged vessels without GA stickers who spend more than 60 days at Brunswick Landing marina. I may have mentioned that someone (...) advised that SOP is to simply ignore the issue.

In my specific case, things are complicated by the fact that I am not, nor do I intend to be, a permanent US resident. The boat is also in a corporate structure and when I asked the non-free people what I should do (they receive quite a non-free salary to provide me with non-free advice) they told me that the best thing I could do, considering the fact that the boat will be spending years abroad, is to stay within the law but avoid accumulating state registrations. When and if she sails back, she can either do so with a US flag or with a different flag if I elect to change it in the meantime - but that's years down the line.

I mention this to explain - just 'paying for the new registration and moving on' is not the best way to do this.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:34   #43
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

You likely have a car that's registered somewhere or some other ties. You likely have some kind of address where your mail is sent. You want to keep the boat in Georgia for some reason.

There's likely a place where you owe sales tax based on those criteria.

You're trying to avoid taxes. You're registering the boat in Delaware, where you likely have no ties. So you, me, and any law enforcement agency you run across is going to know that you're trying to avoid paying sales tax on a technicality. Call it what you want. If you're stopped in a state that requires registration (most do), the law enforcement will likely hassle you.

All that said, you seem to have a reasonable plan, and if you're willing to risk a little harassment, it's likely that you care about this more than anyone else will. If you can keep it less than 90 days, and then get out of the country, you'll likely get away with it. If you bring the boat back into the U.S. at any point, you'll once again face the same problem.

Just don't hang out longer than your plan, because if you get stopped in Georgia or Florida over their 90 day limit, they'll likely impound your boat and make you pay the sales tax.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:44   #44
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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avoid accumulating state registrations.
I'm a bit confused by that piece of the advice. State registrations at most require a sticker or numbers, all of which are easily removed when no longer in effect. The registrations end in one year if not renewed. It's not like documentation and Coast Guard numbers which must be affixed in a way that their removal is then obvious.

I met someone last year in SC whose boat was then registered in four states. lol. I think one had just expired but the other three all current.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:51   #45
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Just don't hang out longer than your plan, because if you get stopped in Georgia or Florida over their 90 day limit, they'll likely impound your boat and make you pay the sales tax.
I think it highly unlikely the boat would be impounded unless the owner showed a significant history of illegally avoiding taxes. I've lived and boated in FL and GA for over 40 years and boats being impounded for failure to pay the state registration or property tax (only an issue in GA since there is none in FL) are pretty rare. So rare that I have never personally heard of a case. Not saying it has never happened.
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