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Old 02-09-2012, 19:57   #46
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Re: Registration and Title in US

The original question was Florida sales tax and registration for a Canadian buying a boat in Florida.

If the boat is purchased in Florida and it is a US documented vessel, it becomes an undocumented Canadian vessel after the sale. It is easy to have it Canadian documented (you do not have to pay Canadian taxes if you do not import it to Canada), but the vessel should stay put until this is done, unless you apply apply for a special permit to move it.

Once the vessel has Canadian documentation you can get a US Cruising Permit that is valid for one year. Then take the boat out of the state of Florida within 90 days (an additional 90 days is extension is available for a fee, no reason needed). It can be taken back into Florida after 6 months and will never need to pay sales tax unless sold again.

There are many Canadians keeping their boats in Florida all summer to cruise on each winter to Keys & Bahamas, this information is common knowledge in that community.

One advantage of getting the Canadian documentation is that you really know and can prove you own the boat.

good luck in your purchase, Bob

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:14   #47
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Re: Registration and Title in US

Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
I asked the question about proving citizenship if the boat is owned by a corporation. Apparantly the corporation must be mostly owned by US citizens to qualify. From the CG website.


Citizenship is established by completion of form CG-1258. In addition to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other entities capable of holding legal title may be deemed citizens for documentation purposes. Corporations must be registered in a state or the U.S; the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens, and no more than a minority of the number of directors necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens. In addition, at least 75% of the stock must be vested in U.S. citizens for a coastwise or fisheries endorsement.
Delaware contains hundreds of people ready to act as nominee directors or shareholders, for a fee of course. It is usually some accountant or lawyer. The ultimate owner can be anyone. I have no idea who these guys are. I just selected them as a random example.

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:31   #48

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Re: Registration and Title in US

A Delaware corporate shell has always been a good way to gain asset protection, but because of the wholesale abuse of sham corporations, it has also been a good way to get the attention of tax men since the 1970's. Showing up with "Delaware" on the transom is a red flag anywhere else on the east coast, and you can bet the local tax men will be checking out the status of the boat on the first day that it might fall under local tax laws.

The courts are also much faster these days to rule that a corporation is a "sham corporation" and to void the asset protection as well, if the corporation that owns the boat has no other business or purpose other than asset protection. FWIW.

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