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Old 24-08-2015, 13:47   #16
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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Originally Posted by svseawitch View Post
Be careful about using St. Brenden and calling yourself a resident. If Florida still has the "wealth tax" they will tax your holdings.

We used St Brenden for our mail while cruising the pacific and they were great. But, if you make it your "residence" Florida can tax you.
Since the intangibles tax was repealed 8 years ago, it's not an issue today.
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Old 24-08-2015, 14:23   #17
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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Since the intangibles tax was repealed 8 years ago, it's not an issue today.
Repealed in 2007.
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Old 24-08-2015, 14:26   #18
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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Since the intangibles tax was repealed 8 years ago, it's not an issue today.
Exactly.

Hard to beat FL for this kind of thing. No state income tax, no personal property or ad valorem tax. Real estate taxes are reasonable. Same with the fees for boat registration, car tags and such.
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Old 24-08-2015, 14:38   #19
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

I think this is the advantage of going through St. Brendan's Isle - SBI are used to navigating the bureaucratic quagmire. The folks at the local government offices, like DMV, are used to SBI people coming in.

We had zero problems and took us just a few hours to reg the boats (dinghy as well!). If you don't count the yearly reg, then we paid zero in florida tax on the boats.

Even if we had to pay a little more in yearly reg it would still be worth it because other state income taxes cost so much. You would think that sales taxes in FL would have to be higher to make up the shortfall but the sales tax is just about the same we were paying in PA and VA.

You do end up paying real estate taxes - through slip rentals.
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Old 24-08-2015, 15:37   #20
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

Based on my research (I am not a lawyer) I also believe the OP will not have to pay sales tax no matter how long he stays in Florida.

But it's important to understand the "intent to use" test mentioned earlier. This is the rule used in Massachusetts. Florida may or may not be the same but most state employees won't have a clue -- except the tax lawyers.

In Massachusetts you owe a sales tax on any boat purchase that you intend at the time of purchase to ever use in the state. For the first six months of ownership the "onus" is on you to show that you had no such intent at the purchase. After six months the onus is on the state to show intent. It's very hard for the state to overcome the onus hurdle after six months but it's possible.

There's no hard-and-fast rules. Here are things a court would consider?

Are you a resident of the state? Obviously, most people who buy boats plan to use them where they live. Most sales tax boat cases involve residents.

Does the boat have a dock or mooring in the state? There's a Massachusetts case where a guy paid for a town mooring license for a 42' boat (with no listed boat name or brand) in the the Massachusetts town where he had a summer house. At the same time he bought a 42' boat out of state. Even though he didn't bring the boat into the state for over six months, the court ruled that the mooring permit proved intent to use the boat at the time the boat was purchased.

It's unclear to me if for sales tax purposes bringing the boat into the state for even ONE day during the first six months of ownership might show intent if you are also a resident. You certainly don't want a piece of paper like a fuel dock receipt or slip rental to document that the boat was in the state during the time that the onus is on you.

And certainly don't make your new boat's CG documentation hailing port in the state. It's happened

This isn't a place where you want to look like you are gaming the system. It would be asking for trouble for a state resident to bring the boat into the state at six months and one day. With a juicy sales tax assessment possible, some tax department investigator could argue that you must have had intent and were transparently waiting out the six months. A court might agree.

Remember, I am a guy on the internet so I might be wrong. And this is Massachusetts - so Florida might be different. And it has nothing to do with property taxes or registration fees - which are usually low enough that it just makes sense to pay them.

.
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Old 24-08-2015, 15:58   #21
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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Check the FL Dept of Revenue and the FL FWC websites if you want the information direct.

...
Just call them up and ask. When I lived in FL, I found them to be courteous and helpful. I asked them once for written clarification of a tax situation to CMA...and to my surprise actually got it.
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Old 24-08-2015, 16:06   #22
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

Interesting info.

To clarify, we have no ties to FL of any kind, have no intention of staying there, just want to spend a portion of the winter there. It looks like we'll do something less than 90 days and all will be ok.

I also share the experience that talking to government folks who are tasked with answering phones from the public aren't really that good of a resource, unfortunately. I wish it were otherwise. Perhaps it is in FL?

Anyway, we'll probably call up someone like Saxton to make sure we're good and will proceed without trepidation!

Thanks for the input, TJ
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Old 24-08-2015, 17:16   #23
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

This is the second time I have posted this -- There is a permit called a Sojurner's permit that allows you to stay in Florida longer. Here is a link to the information --- Florida “Sojourner’s Permit” Explained | Cruisers' Net
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Old 24-08-2015, 18:19   #24
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

Your are correct about the local county tax office and their various interpretations of the tax code.
One thing is little mentioned regarding the sales tax in Florida is that you only pay tax on the VESSEL (or the hull) and not the value engine and rigging and if the vessel is older - you get to state what the declared value is. Book value is anyone's guess.

If your vessel is over thirty years old, you may register the boat in Florida as an 'antique' providing it has the same 'TYPE' of engine. (Confused yet ?) and pay a very LOW registration fee. One chap I know pays $10.00 registration fee for his Tartan 37.
Not sure where you are going in Florida but I would not worry about it until asked by local law enforcement (Called The FWC) unless you'll be staying in one place for a very long time. I'm here in Charlotte Harbor, FL and every other boat has an out of state hailing port from far away. Tourism is Florida's main business.

Call any of the county tax offices and they'll be happy to confuse you even further.
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Old 24-08-2015, 19:53   #25
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

Yup, that's the key. Over 30 years old and original type powerplant". The registration fee is silly cheap. $4 a year for my Lancer 30

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Old 24-08-2015, 20:32   #26
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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This is the second time I have posted this -- There is a permit called a Sojurner's permit that allows you to stay in Florida longer. Here is a link to the information --- Florida “Sojourner’s Permit” Explained | Cruisers' Net
This permit has no impact on whether or not you would have to pay the FL sales and use tax which is the main question from the OP.

The permit only allows you to spend more than 90 days in FL without having to register the boat in FL which saves you $100 or so.
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Old 25-08-2015, 07:32   #27
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

Regarding the "Sojourner's Permit," there is so much misinformation out there about this that it is almost frightening. The link provided above has almost no useful information at all. It merely contains a lot of speculation and points you to another website that contains outdated information and broken links.

So I decided to do some research into this myself.

In the first place, I defy anyone to find the word "Sojourner" anywhere in Florida state statutes. It does not exist. There is no such thing as a "Sojourner's Permit." Some county websites refer to "Sojourner's Registration," but the only thing related to this in the state statutes is talk of a "temporary registration."

According to all of the county websites that I could find, that mentioned "sojourners," they all said that you must get a temporary ("sojourners") registration if you stay more than 90 days. And that registration costs the same as a "normal" registration. The only difference is that you do not have to transfer title of your vessel to the state of Florida if you are getting a temporary registration.

Here is a typical example from the Sarasota County Tax Collectors office (Sojourner/Temporary Registration | Florida Tax Collector serving Sarasota County - Barbara Ford-Coates

"Sojourner/Temporary Registration

A sojourner or temporary registration is issued to a non-resident vessel owner using their vessel in Florida waters for 90 days. The application includes:

With that out of the way, let me repeat that registration in Florida is very cheap. Unless your boat is greater than 65 feet in length it will be under $200 per year, and possibly quite a lot under $200. If your boat is over 30 years old, and has the original type engine, then you can get an "antique" registration that won't even cost you an Andrew Jackson!

Seriously people! Why all the angst over peanuts when we're talking about boat-bucks!?! It just amazes me that people get so worked up over what amounts to the cost of taking a few friends out for a night on the town. I understand wanting to reduce the tax bite as much as possible. Heck! I'm the poster child for trying to pay less taxes. But the way people agonize over whether or not they're going to have to register their boat in Florida, you'd think it costs thousands of dollars a year. It doesn't!

Whew! I guess I got that off my chest. Back to your regularly scheduled program.
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Old 25-08-2015, 08:03   #28
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

Does Fl title boats? I was under the impression they do not, I don't believe I have a title for mine.
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Old 25-08-2015, 08:22   #29
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Regarding the "Sojourner's Permit," there is so much misinformation out there about this that it is almost frightening. The link provided above has almost no useful information at all. It merely contains a lot of speculation and points you to another website that contains outdated information and broken links.

So I decided to do some research into this myself.

In the first place, I defy anyone to find the word "Sojourner" anywhere in Florida state statutes. It does not exist. There is no such thing as a "Sojourner's Permit." Some county websites refer to "Sojourner's Registration," but the only thing related to this in the state statutes is talk of a "temporary registration."

According to all of the county websites that I could find, that mentioned "sojourners," they all said that you must get a temporary ("sojourners") registration if you stay more than 90 days. And that registration costs the same as a "normal" registration. The only difference is that you do not have to transfer title of your vessel to the state of Florida if you are getting a temporary registration.

Here is a typical example from the Sarasota County Tax Collectors office (Sojourner/Temporary Registration | Florida Tax Collector serving Sarasota County - Barbara Ford-Coates

"Sojourner/Temporary Registration

A sojourner or temporary registration is issued to a non-resident vessel owner using their vessel in Florida waters for 90 days. The application includes:

With that out of the way, let me repeat that registration in Florida is very cheap. Unless your boat is greater than 65 feet in length it will be under $200 per year, and possibly quite a lot under $200. If your boat is over 30 years old, and has the original type engine, then you can get an "antique" registration that won't even cost you an Andrew Jackson!

Seriously people! Why all the angst over peanuts when we're talking about boat-bucks!?! It just amazes me that people get so worked up over what amounts to the cost of taking a few friends out for a night on the town. I understand wanting to reduce the tax bite as much as possible. Heck! I'm the poster child for trying to pay less taxes. But the way people agonize over whether or not they're going to have to register their boat in Florida, you'd think it costs thousands of dollars a year. It doesn't!

Whew! I guess I got that off my chest. Back to your regularly scheduled program.
But, but, but, I read it on the Internet! It has to be true!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to research!
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Old 25-08-2015, 08:24   #30
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Re: How long can I cruise FL without tax?

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Does Fl title boats? I was under the impression they do not, I don't believe I have a title for mine.
Yes, Florida does title vessels unless it's USCG Documented, a Foreign vessel, or titled/registered in another state.
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