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Old 14-02-2015, 20:03   #1
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Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

Im considering buying an American built sailboat from an American . The boat is located in a foreign country but documented. Here is the question: It seems prudent for me to go ahead and document it as soon as I can as the documentation process is entirely separate from the registration situation. If I have to pay Florida sales tax I cannot afford the boat! I have heard several ways to avoid this. 1. Buy the boat and don't bring it home to Florida till6 months have passed, the register it in Florida and no sales tax applies. 2. Make the transaction upon the high seas and document it on video showing transaction with GPS at the time. This seems unruly but does it have any advantages.? Meantime I can sail around the islands till 6months passes. Comments please.
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Old 14-02-2015, 20:19   #2
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

Call your local tax collector office and ask what the rules are.

AFAIK, a Florida resident has to keep their boat outside FL for 5 years to avoid paying Fl sales tax. The 6 months you mention are non-Florida residents bringing their boat to FL in the first 6 months of ownership.
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Old 14-02-2015, 22:05   #3
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

Here's a quote directly from the state of FL Dept of Revenue document.

It doesn't mention in this summary anything about whether the buyer is a FL resident or not. However it does seem to indicate foreign purchased vessels are liable to the tax no matter what.



When a boat is sold by someone other than a registered boat dealer, or a boat is brought into Florida for use in Florida, Florida use tax is due. The "use" part of Florida’s sales and use tax provides uniform taxation of items. Florida’s six percent (6%) use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales surtax, is due on a boat used or stored in Florida when:
• The boat is purchased from a person who is not a registered boat dealer and the sale or delivery of the boat occurs in Florida;
• The boat is purchased in another state, territory of the United States, or District of Columbia and is brought into Florida within six (6) months of the purchase date; or
• The boat is purchased in a foreign country and is brought into Florida at any time.
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Old 15-02-2015, 06:03   #4
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Here's a quote directly from the state of FL Dept of Revenue document.

It doesn't mention in this summary anything about whether the buyer is a FL resident or not. However it does seem to indicate foreign purchased vessels are liable to the tax no matter what.



When a boat is sold by someone other than a registered boat dealer, or a boat is brought into Florida for use in Florida, Florida use tax is due. The "use" part of Florida’s sales and use tax provides uniform taxation of items. Florida’s six percent (6%) use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales surtax, is due on a boat used or stored in Florida when:
• The boat is purchased from a person who is not a registered boat dealer and the sale or delivery of the boat occurs in Florida;
• The boat is purchased in another state, territory of the United States, or District of Columbia and is brought into Florida within six (6) months of the purchase date; or
• The boat is purchased in a foreign country and is brought into Florida at any time.
OK Mr skipmac- thank you. Well it seems that these parameters being the case-- it would be favorable to purchase in another US state (forgetting the foreign purchase), wait more than 6 months, then bring it to Florida and re-register it in Florida --would this work? maybe a state that has a much lower sales tax?
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Old 15-02-2015, 06:38   #5
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
OK Mr skipmac- thank you. Well it seems that these parameters being the case-- it would be favorable to purchase in another US state (forgetting the foreign purchase), wait more than 6 months, then bring it to Florida and re-register it in Florida --would this work? maybe a state that has a much lower sales tax?
Could work. There are one or two states that don't have a sales tax at all on used boats (new as well??). RI is one. Learned that while I worked in eastern CT but with joint residence in RI and FL. Made a lot of sense to keep the boat there until I changed jobs.

I recall seeing a comment in the past on a FL website that you had to buy the boat and genuinely keep and use it as a resident in another state and not just to keep it out of FL to beat the tax. I would check the details carefully. Also if you decide to give this a go make sure you document the details carefully. Marina receipts, etc.
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Old 15-02-2015, 07:12   #6
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

Here ya go.

The only states without statewide sales and use taxes are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Every state with a sales tax has a use tax too.


That is from the web. It doesn't address taxes on used boats.

However the USVI also has no sales tax and is considered very easy on boat registration. The boat does have to be there for inspection whatever that is.

George, are you getting another cat? You can PM me with the details and I won't spill the beans.
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Old 15-02-2015, 07:37   #7
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Call your local tax collector office and ask what the rules are.

AFAIK, a Florida resident has to keep their boat outside FL for 5 years to avoid paying Fl sales tax. The 6 months you mention are non-Florida residents bringing their boat to FL in the first 6 months of ownership.
From where did you'd get that?

Having gone through this with a boat bought years ago and kept outside Florida, it makes NO difference how long ago a boat was purchased or where or for how long it was out of the state.

If you cannot demonstrate to Fl that sales tax has been paid elsewhere, the state requires it be paid to Fl. within 90 days. Fl is not lax in checking either.

This isn't the first time I've read misleading tax advice being given.

warning - never depend on an Internet sailing site for tax information. Such info is readily and clearly available from the relevant tax authority.
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Old 15-02-2015, 08:28   #8
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Here ya go.

The only states without statewide sales and use taxes are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Every state with a sales tax has a use tax too.
this is not true. I am certain that in Mississippi, if you purchase the boat, used, from an individual (as opposed to dealership/broker/established company) there is no sales tax due. There is no 'use' tax in Mississippi either. Also, if the boat is USCG documented, there is no requirement for state registration.
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Old 15-02-2015, 09:31   #9
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
Im considering buying an American built sailboat from an American . The boat is located in a foreign country but documented. Here is the question: It seems prudent for me to go ahead and document it as soon as I can as the documentation process is entirely separate from the registration situation. If I have to pay Florida sales tax I cannot afford the boat! I have heard several ways to avoid this. 1. Buy the boat and don't bring it home to Florida till6 months have passed, the register it in Florida and no sales tax applies. 2. Make the transaction upon the high seas and document it on video showing transaction with GPS at the time. This seems unruly but does it have any advantages.? Meantime I can sail around the islands till 6months passes. Comments please.

Sales tax in Florida is 6%. If you can't afford the tax, then you can't afford the boat.
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Old 15-02-2015, 09:47   #10
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

i dont understand i bought a boat here in panam with us cg registration that came from marina del rey ,, i changed the papers to my name in the us for less than a hundred bucks and got a cruising permit here in panama for one year for 193 bucks ???? why would ypi buy a boat ij another country and pay taxes in the us ??? my boat for sale again and it will cost less than 3oo to change hands again ..
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Old 15-02-2015, 10:06   #11
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
From where did you'd get that?

Having gone through this with a boat bought years ago and kept outside Florida, it makes NO difference how long ago a boat was purchased or where or for how long it was out of the state.

If you cannot demonstrate to Fl that sales tax has been paid elsewhere, the state requires it be paid to Fl. within 90 days. Fl is not lax in checking either.

This isn't the first time I've read misleading tax advice being given.

warning - never depend on an Internet sailing site for tax information. Such info is readily and clearly available from the relevant tax authority.
Below is a quote directly from the Florida Department of Revenue web site and the link to the original document. Note the highlighted areas in the quotation.

Unless I am misreading this it seems clear that if the boat is not brought into Florida before six months after purchase then no sales or use tax is due. By the way when I was working in CT, purchased a boat and kept it in RI for a year where I was living at the time I verified this information by speaking directly with the person in charge at the FL DOR office in Tallahassee.

Since I was a RI resident I did have to register the boat in RI but had to pay no sales tax on the boat in RI. I assume you are aware of this policy you mention Narragansett as your boat's location.

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/current/gt800005.pdf

When a boat is sold by someone other than a registered boat dealer, or a boat is brought into Florida for use in Florida, Florida use tax is due. The "use" part of Florida’s sales and use tax provides uniform taxation of items. Florida’s six percent (6%) use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales surtax, is due on a boat used or stored in Florida when:
• The boat is purchased from a person who is not a registered boat dealer and the sale or delivery of the boat occurs in Florida;
The boat is purchased in another state, territory of the United States, or District of Columbia and is brought into Florida within six (6) months of the purchase date; or
• The boat is purchased in a foreign country and is brought into Florida at any time.


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Old 15-02-2015, 10:17   #12
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Sales tax in Florida is 6%. If you can't afford the tax, then you can't afford the boat.

I agree. If you can't afford the tax you won't be able to afford the maintainable. Maybe time to look for a less expensive boat.
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Old 15-02-2015, 10:20   #13
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
this is not true. I am certain that in Mississippi, if you purchase the boat, used, from an individual (as opposed to dealership/broker/established company) there is no sales tax due. There is no 'use' tax in Mississippi either. Also, if the boat is USCG documented, there is no requirement for state registration.

Same with North Carolina.
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Old 15-02-2015, 11:44   #14
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Sales tax in Florida is 6%. If you can't afford the tax, then you can't afford the boat.
Yep, and the tax might be less on the ulcers than trying to avoid paying the tax?
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Old 15-02-2015, 12:14   #15
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Re: Florida resident wants to buy used sailboaty overseas

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
this is not true. I am certain that in Mississippi, if you purchase the boat, used, from an individual (as opposed to dealership/broker/established company) there is no sales tax due. There is no 'use' tax in Mississippi either. Also, if the boat is USCG documented, there is no requirement for state registration.
I lifted that sales tax statement from the web.
I added "this doesn't address taxes on used boats" because I didn't know.
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