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Old 18-02-2012, 17:15   #1
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Buying a Boat in Canada

Looking at buying a boat in British Columbia. I’m an Oregon resident.
The US border is close to the boat, so “transfer of title” in US waters would be close. Could be registered in Oregon (no sales tax).
But I would like to keep the boat in BC. I don’t mind paying moorage and outfitting the boat in BC, but I don’t see paying the sales tax on it when at any time I may take it back to the US.
The broker says no problem, they never check. I get the feeling he’s just telling me what I want to here.
Thoughts.
Have done some searching on the site, but not answered for my situation.
Thanks
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Old 18-02-2012, 17:26   #2
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

Nafta allows for North American products to cross the border duty free (not sales tax). If your boat was built in the US or Mexico then that's one less hurdle to pay.
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Old 18-02-2012, 20:24   #3
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

The biggest issue will be finding dock space.

I do not think that the boat has to be physically in Oregon for the registration. Check with them. It might have to be equipped to USCG standards: pfd's, horseshoe buoy, etc..
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Old 18-02-2012, 20:51   #4
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

They do check. If registered in B.C., take delivery in Washington state, therfore no HST (12%). You can then move it back to B.C., if you have a slip for it and no taxes. If you take delivery in B.C., you pay the HST. If you take delivery in Washington (Pt. Roberts), you have 90 days to get it out of the state or Washington taxes kick in. Have done this several times.
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Old 18-02-2012, 20:53   #5
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

In our boat buying search throughout Washington's Puget Sound area this past week, I was surprised at the availability of moorage. It’s gone from 3 to 5 years waiting lists to available now. Even covered storage. That seemed to be reflected in BC as well.
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Old 15-03-2013, 22:04   #6
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

What is the case on sales taxes if I were to buy a boat in British Columbia and take it home to Oregon? Would I be refunded the sales tax in BC?
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Old 15-03-2013, 22:17   #7
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

As someone else said have the broker deliver the boat to Pt. Roberts which as some of you might know is a little piece of land that is landlocked off Canada but is the USA. That will avoid all Canadian tax. Now you have to worry about Wa state tax as do all the folks from Oregon so register it in Oregon. Take the boat back up to Canada, its a USA boat with a USA skipper so all is good as you'll never have to pay tax there but you have time limits so its best if you hop back and forth between Pt. Roberts (or Blaine) and Canada which I'm sure you could do for some time. What I'd be watching for with Oregon registration is the Wa revenue boys as they do scout out the marinas looking for you guys.
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Old 15-03-2013, 22:19   #8
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

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What is the case on sales taxes if I were to buy a boat in British Columbia and take it home to Oregon? Would I be refunded the sales tax in BC?
How BC (Canada) would refund you anything if you are US resident and not filling tax returns in Canada? There was a visitor sales tax refund program in Canada, but I think it is gone now. If you pay, most likely it is gone.

Instead, try not to pay sales tax in BC legally. I do not know how it works in BC, but it is common not to pay sales tax or portion of it if the boat is purchased for export out of province/state or out of country. You need to inquire with BC revenue services yourself, do not trust your broker. It's your money and problem will be yours if something goes wrong.

Also, be aware that Canada has multiple "sales" taxes, PST, GST, and HST which is a combination or replacement of PST and GST in some provinces. Chances are that you might be require to pay some portion of it.

Good luck ...
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Old 15-03-2013, 22:22   #9
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

BC has a 12% PST, there is no GST on used boats in Canada and we no longer have HST. Always avoid tax, if possible, forget the concept of getting it back, not a good plan.
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Old 15-03-2013, 22:25   #10
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

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Take the boat back up to Canada, its a USA boat with a USA skipper so all is good as you'll never have to pay tax there but you have time limits so its best if you hop back and forth between Pt. Roberts (or Blaine) ...
Correct, there are time limits.
You have to register the boat in Canada after x number of days.
x=90 ... I think

There is one catch ... you have to register the boat somewhere unless you document it with USCG. Most likely the US state will impose their sales tax before they will register the boat.

So ... you have to pay sales tax somewhere. Find the place that charges the lowest tax rate.
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Old 16-03-2013, 00:54   #11
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

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BC has a 12% PST, there is no GST on used boats in Canada and we no longer have HST. Always avoid tax, if possible, forget the concept of getting it back, not a good plan.
Sorry that is not quite true. At the present we have HST of 12%, however that is being phased out and we are supposed to go back to the PST and GST system this summer. If you register in the US and do an offshore deal then take your boat to BC you may never have to pay a tax. If however you do the deal in Canada you may or not get your tax bucks back.
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Old 16-03-2013, 09:43   #12
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

OK it isn't quite true but it will be in a few weeks. What you may or may not know is that the HST which was a combination of GST and PST or harmonized tax was set up different on boats,planes,motorcyles and Cars. There never was any GST on used boats so there was nothing to harmonize but the BC government relalized it was a nice cash flow that they could get 12% on rather than the normal PST of 7%. They did the same thing when BC voted out the HST tax to go back to PST. PST is 7% but the government left the full 12% on boats cars etc. so it was a tax grab. To make the long story short it doesn't matter what you want to call the tax nor when its being phased in because its the same 12% now and in the future. Don't do the deal in BC.
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:35   #13
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

Thanks for the updates everyone.
We looked at a sweet Mainship in Sidney that we were ready to make an offer on.
Then...
Found out about our first grandbaby coming that September (2012).
Knew that would throw a wrench in the whole idea of extending our cruising season.
So we bought a travel trailer instead. I know! I hear ya.
But, you know what? It’s a whole lot cheaper and you get a whole lot more for your money.
We will be back in the Brougthon area this July in our trailerable boat for sure.
And maybe in a few years we will be looking at this again.
Thanks
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:51   #14
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

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Found out about our first grandbaby coming that September (2012).
Congratulations!

BTW, it is not a wasted topic ... others might get a feel for the complexity and expense of Canadian system and/or joy of cross border boat buying ...
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Old 16-03-2013, 11:52   #15
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Re: Buying a Boat in Canada

I don't know about BC, but in Ontario, when you buy a boat privately, the tax is paid at a government office when you go to register the boat or trailer. Keep the receipt for the tax!! If the government later gets wind of the private sale, they can theoretically come looking for the tax (and of course they are often too thick to connect their own record of tax paid with the same boat)
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