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Old 20-04-2014, 10:25   #1
mmr
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Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

The wife and I were planning on sailing to New Zealand but only made it to the DR. She still wants to go to NZ so we are cheating and going to fly

We bought the boat in Rhode Island and are coast guard registered but not state registered (we don't know what state we are heading back to). We are planning on putting the boat up in Florida for the 6 weeks we are in NZ and then heading back up north to cruise New England again this summer. So, max stay in Fl waters is 2 months. Do I need to register the boat in Florida for the 6-8 weeks the boat is there? And if I do, does anyone know if I need to pay sales/use tax on the boat? What is the fine for operating a non-state registered boat in Fl waters? Is there a temporary permit I could purchase for the boat or any other way to make me legal in Fl?
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Old 20-04-2014, 10:30   #2
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

This particular subject has been raised and discussed many times in this particular portion of the forum (Regulations & Red tape). Many answers include links to the FL online website from the state govt. Like this one: Florida Sales Tax and Exit Fees? Can You?

Good luck, we toured NZ for a month, both islands, a few years ago. Lovely trip.
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Old 20-04-2014, 10:43   #3
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

I think you need a sticker from some state. Or you could dry store it. Isnt Fl 90 days allowed?
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Old 20-04-2014, 10:47   #4
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

Yes, you are likely to have issues all along the ICW with no sticker from any state. Good luck!
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Old 20-04-2014, 10:56   #5
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

I had not intended on staying in Florida long, things delayed us getting out of the state and I was written a ticket for failure to have FL. registration. This was 2010, I found it much less effort to just pay the fine online, about $27.00 as I remember. I stayed 2 more months and moved on.
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Old 20-04-2014, 12:27   #6
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
This particular subject has been raised and discussed many times in this particular portion of the forum (Regulations & Red tape). Many answers include links to the FL online website from the state govt. Like this one: Florida Sales Tax and Exit Fees? Can You?

Good luck, we toured NZ for a month, both islands, a few years ago. Lovely trip.
Thanks. I just got a little behind and thought I would ask for clarification while I searched in parallel. Believe me, I know how to use this forums search function (see number of posts since join date!).
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Old 20-04-2014, 12:32   #7
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I think you need a sticker from some state. Or you could dry store it. Isnt Fl 90 days allowed?
I thought it was 90 days too. The only reason I am asking is because we are headed back up north and will need a sticker from somewhere. Florida has cheap registration fees but I just don't want to pay taxes for the boat in a state I have no intention of living/staying in.
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Old 20-04-2014, 12:35   #8
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

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Originally Posted by jeff gillette View Post
I had not intended on staying in Florida long, things delayed us getting out of the state and I was written a ticket for failure to have FL. registration. This was 2010, I found it much less effort to just pay the fine online, about $27.00 as I remember. I stayed 2 more months and moved on.
How long did you stay before getting the ticket? Is your boat state registered in another state?
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Old 20-04-2014, 12:38   #9
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

I went from Annapolis thru Florida and stayed in FL for 2 months with no issues and no stickers, but that was '98. Things have changed likely.
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Old 20-04-2014, 13:22   #10
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

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Originally Posted by mmr View Post
I thought it was 90 days too. The only reason I am asking is because we are headed back up north and will need a sticker from somewhere. Florida has cheap registration fees but I just don't want to pay taxes for the boat in a state I have no intention of living/staying in.
90 days is allowed only if you have a sticker from another state. If you have owned the boat in RI for more than 6 months there are no "taxes" just a registration fee. If you have not owned the boat and used it in RI for 6 months they will hit you up for "Use Tax" when you try to register it in Florida. The amount of the registration fee depends on the age and length of your boat. If it's old enough it may qualify as an antique which has a very low fee.
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Old 20-04-2014, 13:47   #11
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

Is your CG documentation hailing port in RI?

Since the boat will be back in RI this summer on your cruise, I would just register it now in RI. You don't need a RI mailing address or residency and I believe you can do it all by mail. No sales, use or property tax on boats in RI. While this may not exactly cross every "T" of Florida rules, it's a lot better than no sticker at all.

I've taken a documented and RI registered boat through Florida on the way to the Bahamas the last two years. Even left it for a month at a marina two times. Never had anyone ask for the state papers. Maybe I was just lucky, but I think Florida's primary interest are Florida residents.
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Old 20-04-2014, 16:03   #12
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This happened several years ago so I'm not sure if my memory is 100% correct. I purchased and registered my boat in Maryland where I paid taxes on it. I sailed it to Florida and after 3 months ( read into that what you will) I used my Maryland mailing address and registered it in Florida. As far as I remember they just asked me how long ago I purchased it and it was a few years before so they didn't even blink an eye.( I just paid to register it) if your dinghy is motorized you need to register it also but it only costs between 10 and $20. Last time I registered my sailboat I did the two year plan and it was $250. for a 39 foot sailboat
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Old 21-04-2014, 08:00   #13
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

My boat was registered in KY, We were there at the same marina in FL. for about 4 months before we got ticketed. The boat was a documented vessel.
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Old 21-04-2014, 08:15   #14
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

Jeff: did you intend on staying in Florida or were you just there for the winter? Also, where were you when ticketed?
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Old 21-04-2014, 08:29   #15
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Re: Florida Taxes for 48 Day Stay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
90 days is allowed only if you have a sticker from another state. If you have owned the boat in RI for more than 6 months there are no "taxes" just a registration fee. If you have not owned the boat and used it in RI for 6 months they will hit you up for "Use Tax" when you try to register it in Florida. The amount of the registration fee depends on the age and length of your boat. If it's old enough it may qualify as an antique which has a very low fee.


Capt Bill has accurate information. As long as you can show minimum of 6 months ownership and use outside of Florida since you purchased the boat and before the boat ever entered FL waters you should be exempt from the state sales and use tax.

One possible exception, if you were in some way considered a FL resident when you purchased the boat; IE FL drivers license, FL tag on a car, FL voter, registration card then you might be liable. If you are any of those then you could need additional proof that the boat was purchased for use out of the state and not just kept out of the state temporarily to avoid the sales tax.
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