Originally Posted by skipmac
From previous research, if you were NOT a FL resident, purchase a boat NOT in FL, keep and use that boat NOT in FL for minimum of 6 months and then move to FL you will not have to pay the [tax].
This is actually true even if you ARE a resident of Florida.
Doing some research just a couple of days ago I found documentation
on the FL Dept. of Rev. website about a case of a man who was a legal
resident of Florida, but also lived in Washington
part time. He bought a boat in Washington
(where they do not charge sales tax on boats). He used that boat up and down the West coast
of the U.S. for almost a year. He then moved it to Florida.
He was initially told that he would have to pay tax (which is why you should not rely on what someone who answers the phone
at some state office tells you!). He retained an attorney to pursue the matter for him. The final ruling on the matter was that, because he had documented evidence of having used the boat outside of FL for more than 6 months, he did NOT have to pay any sales or use tax. Had he bought the boat in Washington, and just let it sit until he moved it to FL, then he would have had to pay the tax.
Clearly the case of the OP fits the description above. The boat was bought some time ago. Should be easy to document that it has been used outside of FL, and was not bought only for use in FL. Use in Puerto Rico will qualify for the required six months period. Keep some documentation of your use of the boat (gas receipts, dockage fees
, whatever) and you definitely will NOT owe any use or sales tax to the state of Florida.