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Old 30-08-2012, 06:23   #1
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Registration and Title in US

I live in Canada and am in the process of purchasing a boat in Florida and would like to keep it there. Can a non-resident pay taxes in the us and register the title of the boat. How do I do this? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
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Old 30-08-2012, 06:43   #2
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Re: Registration and Title in US

Just to confuse Canadians there are two very different ways to register a boat in the US.

For most yachts the most common method is Federal Documentation via the USCG but to simplify the issue for you, this is not allowed by non-US citizens.

The second method is registration in the state and each state has it's own rules, taxes, etc involved with the process. In Florida as far as I know there are no restrictions on nationality. You just apply to the local county tax office for a state registration. The cost, depending on the value of the boat could $100-$200. However, you will have to pay Florida state sales and use tax on the purchase price of the boat. This is usually 6% although some counties have a local surcharge that could increase that to 6.5-7.0%. There is a cap on the tax so if you buy a really big boat you would not pay more than a certain max. Don't recall the exact limit but think it was around $15,000-$20,000.

State registration is fine for cruising the US and even Bahamas but might be questioned in some countries further afield.
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Old 30-08-2012, 07:01   #3
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Re: Registration and Title in US

Thank you very much for this information, very helpful.
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Old 30-08-2012, 07:23   #4
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Thank you very much for this information, very helpful.
You can also form a delaware LLc{corporation} and reduce the tax bill. Info on firms offerring this service is widely available online, Later if/when you sell the boat you simply sell the corp./LLC and no taxes are payable and the new ownwer then owns the corp./LLC that owns the yacht. This is available to citizens of any country on earth. Info on firms offering this service can be obtained with a simple google search of Delaware boat registration agents. Online magic with no personal appearance required.
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Old 30-08-2012, 07:36   #5
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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You can also form a delaware LLc{corporation} and reduce the tax bill. Info on firms offerring this service is widely available online, Later if/when you sell the boat you simply sell the corp./LLC and no taxes are payable and the new ownwer then owns the corp./LLC that owns the yacht. This is available to citizens of any country on earth. Info on firms offering this service can be obtained with a simple google search of Delaware boat registration agents. Online magic with no personal appearance required.
This strategy will not change the sales and use tax levied by the state of Florida and most other states. In FL if you purchase a boat in the state and do not leave the state within 90 days you are billed for the sales tax. Doesn't matter your state or country of residence, whether owned by individual or corporation, where or how the boat is registered unless it is registered outside the US.

You can checked the details on the Florida Dept of Revenue web site here.

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2011/gt800005.pdf

The only exemption is for a vessel that is registered outside the US.

"Foreign Flagged Vessels
Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license to cruise issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Licenses to cruise are available only to boats flagged in countries that have a
treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as long as you do not violate the provisions of the license to cruise."
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Old 30-08-2012, 07:49   #6
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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This strategy will not change the sales and use tax levied by the state of Florida and most other states. In FL if you purchase a boat in the state and do not leave the state within 90 days you are billed for the sales tax. Doesn't matter your state or country of residence, whether owned by individual or corporation, where or how the boat is registered unless it is registered outside the US.

You can checked the details on the Florida Dept of Revenue web site here.

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2011/gt800005.pdf

The only exemption is for a vessel that is registered outside the US.

"Foreign Flagged Vessels
Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license to cruise issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Licenses to cruise are available only to boats flagged in countries that have a
treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as long as you do not violate the provisions of the license to cruise."
Goodday. Yes. Leave state within 90 days to beat tax. Was just a quik answer to OP post . Yes ,if boat is unmovable then state gets tax. Bimini is just a night sail away and tax bill gone.Cheers
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:02   #7
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Goodday. Yes. Leave state within 90 days to beat tax. Was just a quik answer to OP post . Yes ,if boat is unmovable then state gets tax. Bimini is just a night sail away and tax bill gone.Cheers
Well if the boat is unmovable and in a yard for repairs you can get an extension or exemption on the tax.

But the OP asked about registering and keeping the boat in FL so will have to deal with the tax. Trips outside the state, even to Bimini will not change that.

Even if you purchase the boat outside Florida, your legal residence is outside of FL, you own the boat for years and then later move the boat to FL, if a US flagged boat and it stays in FL for more than 90 days you will be required to register in FL and pay the couple hundred dollars. Would not have to pay the sales and use tax.
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:07   #8
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Re: Registration and Title in US

Bow wow. Lets quote some more BS. Simply put only US citizens are compelled to pay all hose state/fed taxes and some states such as nevada have no state tax{ or so i am led to believe} .Tax is a topic i avoid as most people who have paid alot of tax whether income.ptroperty.business etc. kinda hate us who study the ways to pay "no tax"I choose to pay lawyers and accountants to find ways to pay "little or no tax". That is my right. Wise tax planning.
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:16   #9
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Well if the boat is unmovable and in a yard for repairs you can get an extension or exemption on the tax.

But the OP asked about registering and keeping the boat in FL so will have to deal with the tax. Trips outside the state, even to Bimini will not change that.

Even if you purchase the boat outside Florida, your legal residence is outside of FL, you own the boat for years and then later move the boat to FL, if a US flagged boat and it stays in FL for more than 90 days you will be required to register in FL and pay the couple hundred dollars. Would not have to pay the sales and use tax.
Simply put, remember with a Delaware LLC the owner of the boat is a corp. and that is where the trail ends. The corp/LLC is only subject to the laws of Delaware LLCs/corp. so whoever is onboard is of no concern, Actually know of people who have done this and keep their boats in florida most if not over 90 days of a calender year.Of course this is a tax loophole that Florida authorities probably want to sink.
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:38   #10
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Bow wow. Lets quote some more BS. Simply put only US citizens are compelled to pay all hose state/fed taxes and some states such as nevada have no state tax{ or so i am led to believe} .Tax is a topic i avoid as most people who have paid alot of tax whether income.ptroperty.business etc. kinda hate us who study the ways to pay "no tax"I choose to pay lawyers and accountants to find ways to pay "little or no tax". That is my right. Wise tax planning.
Bow wow?

You can call it BS all day long but it is the law in the state of FL. You can try to duck it all you like but FL aggressively pursues their pound of flesh, to the point of sending agents to marinas to take note of how long out of state boats have been docked there.

I am not an idiot and do not pay any more than I legally have to pay but I also know what the penalties can be for not paying what the law requires.

Get caught not paying your taxes and let me know how that goes. You might ask Wesley Snipes how that worked out for him.
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:42   #11
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Simply put, remember with a Delaware LLC the owner of the boat is a corp. and that is where the trail ends.
And the boat is subject to the laws of the state where it is docked and more so if it is registered in that state.

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so whoever is onboard is of no concern,
see comment above.

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Actually know of people who have done this and keep their boats in florida most if not over 90 days of a calender year.
So do I but does not mean that they are not violating FL law. They just haven't been caught.
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:50   #12
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Thanks for all of the postings. I am certainly not trying to avoid paying Taxes, just want to buy a boat in Florida and leave it there without having to bring it back to Canada. I think the first response to my initially question was very helpful
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:51   #13
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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BS. Simply put only US citizens are compelled to pay all hose state/fed taxes
So resident aliens aren't? Great, I'm phoning Alameda right now to get a refund on my property taxes, oh and I'm owed a ton of income taxes... and the sales tax on my boat...

or are you just talking utter rubbish?
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:53   #14
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Bow wow?

You can call it BS all day long but it is the law in the state of FL. You can try to duck it all you like but FL aggressively pursues their pound of flesh, to the point of sending agents to marinas to take note of how long out of state boats have been docked there.

I am not an idiot and do not pay any more than I legally have to pay but I also know what the penalties can be for not paying what the law requires.

Get caught not paying your taxes and let me know how that goes. You might ask Wesley Snipes how that worked out for him.
Yea. remember reading that Snipes included a 15000 Amex credit card bill in his bankruptcy and thaought he could have ran that amex bill higher . Yea, USA citizens must report their worldwide income and all that jazz. However simple boat registration is not a big deal. My family has aunts,uncles and cousins in the USA and i know how much paranoia they feel. However as i said earlier any Delaware LLc/corp agent can open a company for a non-usa resident and that company can purchase assets. Assets can be apartment buildings.yachts etc. All sibject to Delaware llc rules.My uncle had a delaware registered yacht in florida from 1981 to 2001 without a hassle but maybe he was paying off the inspector. I dont know.
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Old 30-08-2012, 08:55   #15
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Bow wow?

You can call it BS all day long but it is the law in the state of FL. You can try to duck it all you like but FL aggressively pursues their pound of flesh, to the point of sending agents to marinas to take note of how long out of state boats have been docked there.

I am not an idiot and do not pay any more than I legally have to pay but I also know what the penalties can be for not paying what the law requires.

Get caught not paying your taxes and let me know how that goes. You might ask Wesley Snipes how that worked out for him.
The same happens in California where State employees walk the docks writing down boat details to check against tax records. I've seen them.

Rhode Island is the cheapest on the East Coast. You will pay state registration fees but no taxes.
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