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Old 25-04-2019, 07:10   #1
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Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

I am looking into buying a boat which is currently located in the Dominican Republic but the title and registration is currently in Florida.
My normal place of residence is Australia.
Itís a 37ft, 1988 model, single engine.
I read somewhere that if you are not a resident of Florida and the boat is not currently in Florida, you are not required to pay sales tax.
Does anyone have any idea if the tax exemption is legit? If it isnít, what and how is the tax calculated for Florida?
Does anyone have any recent of change of ownership in Florida if you do not reside there?
Iíve checked the FLHSMV and Florida Tax Collection sites, but as with all government sites, the information is vague and contradictory at times.
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Old 25-04-2019, 07:25   #2
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Even if you buy a boat in Florida you have 90 days to get it out of Florida and pay no sales tax. With the boat in a foreign country it should be no problem.
Perhaps the boat is also US Documented?
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Old 25-04-2019, 08:09   #3
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Yes lots of variables.

The main one being, in what jurisdiction will the boat remain for any length of time?

And your immigration / residence status, though a separate issue, can be very relevant.

In the US, some states require that sales / use taxes be paid to them even if not required by any previous docking jurisdiction.

So it can be better to intentionally pay the tax in a lower-rate US governed location, rather than trying to avoid it completely.

So, details are required before any specific information or advice.
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Old 25-04-2019, 08:12   #4
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTrain View Post
I am looking into buying a boat which is currently located in the Dominican Republic but the title and registration is currently in Florida.
Are you planning to register it in Florida or reside in Florida? If not, you do not have to pay sales tax.
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Old 25-04-2019, 08:33   #5
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Yes, as mentioned, you dont need to pay sales tax. I bought a Florida boat while in the US VI, had the title done by a Florida agency. Never had to pay any tax.
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Old 25-04-2019, 08:35   #6
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Even if you buy a boat in Florida you have 90 days to get it out of Florida and pay no sales tax.
actually that may be 180 days (6 months) now.
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Old 25-04-2019, 10:02   #7
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

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I read somewhere that if you are not a resident of Florida and the boat is not currently in Florida, you are not required to pay sales tax.
.
Let me get this straight - the boat isnít in Florida, wonít be in Florida, you arenít in Florida and you arenít a Florida resident?

I think weíre missing something about your question.
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Old 25-04-2019, 10:05   #8
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Florida would only care if you were registering the boat there.


What you need to be concerned about are the Dominican Republic laws, and the laws wherever you intend to register the boat.
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Old 25-04-2019, 10:12   #9
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

OP has not stated they are in the DR, nor where they plan to live, nor where the boat will be,

just that the boat is currently in the DR.

So those issues need clarifying before anything meaningful can be posted.

Which of course doesn't stop people from ASSuming stuff and speculating so they can just post something, likely irrelevant to the OP's contextless Q
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Old 25-04-2019, 10:37   #10
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Where is the sale going to take place? Where are you going to keep the boat? How do you plan to flag/register the boat?


If the boat is not in Florida, the sale is not happening in Florida, you are not a resident of Florida, you are not going to register the boat in Florida, and you are not planning to bring the boat into Florida, then the fact that it is currently registered in Florida is irrelevant. There will be no Florida sales tax due. There may, however, be other taxes due, depending on the answers to the questions above.
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Old 25-04-2019, 14:05   #11
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Thanks everyone for the responses so far. Apologies as there seems to be some information I left out of the original post which may have lead to some confusion.
The boat is currently registered/flagged in Florida.
It is located in the Dominican Republic and that is where the sale will take place.
The boat will remain in the DR for the short term but will be sailed through the Caribbean over the next year and then hopefully global from there.
If someone has some recent, first hand experience with this kind of transaction, I would dearly love to hear from them to get their advice. Surely I am not the first person to purchase a Forida flagged boat in a foreign port.
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Old 25-04-2019, 14:07   #12
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

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Thanks everyone for the responses so far. Apologies as there seems to be some information I left out of the original post which may have lead to some confusion.
The boat is currently registered/flagged in Florida.
It is located in the Dominican Republic and that is where the sale will take place.
The boat will remain in the DR for the short term but will be sailed through the Caribbean over the next year and then hopefully global from there.
If someone has some recent, first hand experience with this kind of transaction, I would dearly love to hear from them to get their advice. Surely I am not the first person to purchase a Forida flagged boat in a foreign port.
From that information, your transaction has nothing to do with Florida.

You need to understand the laws of the Dominican Republic (or wherever the transaction takes place), and wherever you're going to register the boat.

Would make no sense to register it in Florida and pay the 6% tax there.

Your question very quickly becomes more of a "I'm Australian, where should I register this boat?" question.
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Old 25-04-2019, 14:32   #13
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

Yes FL registration and tax issues are just for boats staying in Florida.

Getting hold of the proper **title** paperwork is an issue, depending on which jurisdiction you decide to flag her under.

Whether or not the boat is US federally "documented" is relevant, as that is only available to US citizens, and getting the boat "undocumented" may be an issue.

Make sure to get a good search for liens done before committing.

As well as finding out what payments / hoops the DR may require.

Some people do their ownership transfers offshore to avoid some such issues.
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Old 25-04-2019, 14:45   #14
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

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The boat is currently registered/flagged in Florida.
.
Unless and until you bring it to the U.S., that is irrelevant.
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Old 25-04-2019, 15:47   #15
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Re: Florida change of ownership costs and taxes for a non-resident and citizen.

At purchase you can file an "affadavit for exemption of boat sold for removal from the State of Florida by a nonresident purchaser". Whew... which may take the record for longest legal form name. You have 90 days from date of sale to prove the boat is out of state. My 90 days starts this next Monday.

I don't know if Florida will ever know in your case.
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