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Old 17-08-2017, 15:16   #1
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Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

For those of you living in locations where there is a personal property tax on boats, is there any exemption from that tax for having your boat as your home?
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Old 17-08-2017, 15:39   #2
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

I've never heard of being able to "jump the fence" and have a home classified as personal property, or vice versa. The boat isn't real estate, it is personal property. So...no real estate taxes, but sure, personal property taxes or "motor vehicle" charges. Of course, all of that is at the SOLE DISCRETION OF THE SPECIFIC PLACE YOU LIVE.

So don't ask about "the world", try asking the question about the specific jurisdiction you need to know about. And if you don't know where it will be...Fuggedaboudit.
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Old 18-08-2017, 06:58   #3
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

I would still like to hear about anyone able to convince the local tax authorities that personal property tax is not applicable for a boat that serves as a home. Maybe it's not possible...but if it has been done somewhere then maybe it might be tried in another location. Just thinking outside the box which seems like some people can't comprehend.
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Old 18-08-2017, 07:39   #4
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
I would still like to hear about anyone able to convince the local tax authorities that personal property tax is not applicable for a boat that serves as a home. Maybe it's not possible...but if it has been done somewhere then maybe it might be tried in another location. Just thinking outside the box which seems like some people can't comprehend.
. Nothing wrong with minimizing tax burden but this seems to be tax avoidance attempt - you will pay either way. Does it matter whether you call it pay property tax (boat residence) or real estate tax or use/sales tax?
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Old 18-08-2017, 08:06   #5
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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. Nothing wrong with minimizing tax burden but this seems to be tax avoidance attempt - you will pay either way. Does it matter whether you call it pay property tax (boat residence) or real estate tax or use/sales tax?
The taxing authorities, world wide, have seen most attempts, both good and bad, at avoiding taxes. I know Florida has seen every angle imaginable and pretty well closes all loopholes.

I myself am about to sign a tax affidavit (Florida) that gives me 90 days to remove the boat from State waters and I will not have to pay sales tax. I can get an extension to 180 days by filing a 2nd time. It then has to be gone or pay the sales tax.

Once my boat leaves Florida it has to be gone for at least 6 months before coming back into Florida. I'm in a mental gray area about what happens then but I believe I am back under 90 days and then gone again. If I stay longer, as in living in Florida with the boat out back or even live aboard, they will then assess me a "use tax" which is the same figure as the original sales tax.

It appears they try to be reasonable and offer exemptions to those needing them. But to others trying to simply avoid taxes, they're gonna get you eventually!
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Old 18-08-2017, 08:12   #6
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
. Nothing wrong with minimizing tax burden but this seems to be tax avoidance attempt - you will pay either way. Does it matter whether you call it pay property tax (boat residence) or real estate tax or use/sales tax?
Easy to say from RI where they don't tax them!

How to avoid paying taxes on your boat...legally! - Answers in Boat Tax Law

Florida is 6% sales or use tax at purchase then no property tax.

At least any tax paid is deductible so you aren't paying fed tax on the money to pay state tax, small comfort. Also, if you finance and live aboard the interest should also be deductible. I'm in Kalifornia where they tax the heck out of you for breathing let alone boats....
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Old 18-08-2017, 08:51   #7
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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Easy to say from RI where they don't tax them!

How to avoid paying taxes on your boat...legally! - Answers in Boat Tax Law

Florida is 6% sales or use tax at purchase then no property tax.

At least any tax paid is deductible so you aren't paying fed tax on the money to pay state tax, small comfort. Also, if you finance and live aboard the interest should also be deductible. I'm in Kalifornia where they tax the heck out of you for breathing let alone boats....
We live in Florida. As does our boat.
Haven't been to RI in 9 years.

I accept your apology preemptively.

It hasn't been that long ago when a couple of presidential candidates in the U.S. were derailed in part because of tax avoidance schemes, I.e., Romney and previously Kerry for his scheme to keep his boat in RI rather than his residence state Massachusetts.

Are we subject to a different standard of integrity?
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Old 18-08-2017, 08:53   #8
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

You may wish to consider a number of other options also. A second citizenship makes sense for some people. Check out Nomad Capitalist. He is a good source of tax minimization strategies. He's not a scam artist, but works within the various systems to help one legally pay the least amount of tax possible. Will you be cruising and moving from state to state or country to country? If you are then it will probably be worth it to make some changes. If you will be staying primarily in your current state, and working there, then it may not be worth the effort.

How much is the boat worth? Sometimes if the boat isn't too expensive and the tax rate is small, it isn't worth the effort to move the boat, change the registration, etc. If the tax is high, then it is likely worth while.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:12   #9
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
I would still like to hear about anyone able to convince the local tax authorities that personal property tax is not applicable for a boat that serves as a home. Maybe it's not possible...but if it has been done somewhere then maybe it might be tried in another location. Just thinking outside the box which seems like some people can't comprehend.
According to Fed tax law you can write off interest as a second home. Perhaps you should use that arguement with your local taxing authority. However, if they accept that argument you would then be liable for property taxes which would be much more.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:21   #10
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
For those of you living in locations where there is a personal property tax on boats, is there any exemption from that tax for having your boat as your home?
No, homestead laws apply only to real estate.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:33   #11
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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According to Fed tax law you can write off interest as a second home. Perhaps you should use that arguement with your local taxing authority. However, if they accept that argument you would then be liable for property taxes which would be much more.
Plus if they accept that argument you would then pay yearly while the sales or use tax is a one time thing.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:46   #12
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

In some states,, if you live aboard you can have your boat re classified and taxed as your primary residents. You can also have one reclassified as a second home if you meet the qualifications. In other words your 21 ft center console won't cut it. You don't avoid paying taxes but they are much less. Hopes this helps. Check with your state.
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Old 18-08-2017, 09:47   #13
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

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Originally Posted by SV Bacchus View Post
The taxing authorities, world wide, have seen most attempts, both good and bad, at avoiding taxes. I know Florida has seen every angle imaginable and pretty well closes all loopholes.

I myself am about to sign a tax affidavit (Florida) that gives me 90 days to remove the boat from State waters and I will not have to pay sales tax. I can get an extension to 180 days by filing a 2nd time. It then has to be gone or pay the sales tax.

Once my boat leaves Florida it has to be gone for at least 6 months before coming back into Florida. I'm in a mental gray area about what happens then but I believe I am back under 90 days and then gone again. If I stay longer, as in living in Florida with the boat out back or even live aboard, they will then assess me a "use tax" which is the same figure as the original sales tax.

It appears they try to be reasonable and offer exemptions to those needing them. But to others trying to simply avoid taxes, they're gonna get you eventually!
That's especially true in Florida, which has to rely upon taxes other than income taxes for revenue. When you buy a yacht and bring it here as a base, if you can finagle your way out of paying a sales tax, you'll still owe an identical "use tax" if you keep or use the boat in Florida. I just bit the bullet, and paid the sales tax.
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Old 18-08-2017, 10:07   #14
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

In Washington state they have excise tax on boats

Excise tax is calculated at one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the fair market value of your vessel or the purchase price if it reflects fair market value.

https://www.boat-ed.com/washington/h...ax-on-Vessels/
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Old 18-08-2017, 10:27   #15
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Re: Personal Property Tax for Liveaboards

Under what is called "strict construction" in the laws, the tax statutes are interpreted strictly. So, you BOUGHT a boat? You can put it on a trailer or flatbed and move it around? Yeah, it is personal property and that's the end of the argument.

It is also nowhere defined as "real estate" or "real property", so again, the law says you don't get any real property breaks for it.

And the IRS, school board, and elections department will all tell you that you can live under a bridge, in or out of a tent or cardoard box, and they'll honor that as your HOME and home address. But that tent and box are still personal property, not real estate.

You've almost certainly got the entire body of common law and statutory law in all of the US against you.

BUT.

This is not to discourage you. Honest.

The ONLY RESPONSE THAT MATTERS is what YOUR LOCAL TAX DEPARTMENT SAYS. Don't waste your time in a sailing forum. Write an appeal to your tax department and when they deny it (because #1, they follow the laws as written and #2, they want the oney) you can appeal it in your state courts. You've got a total of four or five local and state authorities who really can issue a binding legal statement that your boat is a "home" and therefore somehow not personal property.

I thinks your chances are about as good as a snowball in hell because you don't seem to grasp what "property" the laws recognize, but hey, go for it. Stranger cases have been won. You might remind them that a house can also be put on a truck and moved around too...but that's a two-edged sword.

BUT NOT ONLINE. No one here can help you, and the rules in every other jurisdiction DO NOT BIND ON YOURS. Yeah, that's the law.

These are the studied opinions a citizen deemed to be a learned gentlemen and scholar, not legal advice or practice. Them who deemed me, coulda been wrong.
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