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Old 18-12-2013, 14:01   #1
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Information needed

We are heading to Florida to buy number four yacht. NZ and Australia are just too expensive at present and besides we want to cruise USA and the Caribbean. So the question is about sales taxes in Florida. As the buyers of a blue water yacht (fingers crossed) which will be changing to Australian rego - are there any state taxes we have to add on to purchase price? Considering we have to stay in hotels which area of Florida offers most bang (boats) for our buck? In general how much does a survey cost (roughly is fine to forestall all arguements) . We looking to arrive early March so any and all information gratefully received.
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Old 18-12-2013, 16:12   #2
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If you buy through a broker or if it's a for sale by owner deal and you pay a negotiated fee to a broker to run the deal through his books you can receive a 90 day exemption from the sales tax. The is effective from the closing date so some owners may be willing to postpone the closing as long as its locked in with a super large deposit if you need more time to get the boat out of the state. Ft Lauderdale is probably boat central. I don't remember the survey cost as I mostly do my own.
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Old 18-12-2013, 17:53   #3
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Thanks Dave. So what you are saying is - run it through a broker to obtain the 90 day period to leave the state? Does that exempt us permanently once we leave or can we never return yacht to Florida? Would hate to miss out on sailing Florida!
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Old 18-12-2013, 18:10   #4
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Originally Posted by S/V Willow View Post
Thanks Dave. So what you are saying is - run it through a broker to obtain the 90 day period to leave the state? Does that exempt us permanently once we leave or can we never return yacht to Florida? Would hate to miss out on sailing Florida!
I bought mine in FL. My broker arranged this cruising permit that gave us 90 days. I think you may be able to extend that if it is laid up at a yard, but not certain.

In my case, I was contacted by the state of NC many months later, where I reside, and given a tax bill for a new boat. They presumed that because documents listed the dealer as seller it was new. NC does not charge tax on used boats, and I was not liable. Big surprise though

Best of luck-
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Old 18-12-2013, 19:12   #5
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No, once your Australian registry comes through you will enter any state you like and stay for an entire year. Then you must leave the country for 15 days and you can obtain another 1 year cruising permit. The cost for this permit was $27 5 years ago, not sure now.
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Old 19-12-2013, 06:39   #6
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Re: Information needed

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Thanks Dave. So what you are saying is - run it through a broker to obtain the 90 day period to leave the state?
You can get the 90 day exemption yourself, but then you'll have to work out the paperwork on your own. Not that big of a deal, but if the sale is being handled by a broker anyway, let them take care of it.
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Old 19-12-2013, 12:26   #7
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What happens if it's a private sale? Does that mean no taxes at all?
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Old 19-12-2013, 12:53   #8
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Re: Information needed

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No, once your Australian registry comes through you will enter any state you like and stay for an entire year. Then you must leave the country for 15 days and you can obtain another 1 year cruising permit. The cost for this permit was $27 5 years ago, not sure now.
Common error. There is no fee for the cruising permit. You might have been charged $25 for a customs decal, (now $28 I think) which exempts the vessel from clearing in charges. The decal is good for the calendar year, Jan to Dec. Many offices do not ask you to buy the decal, then you pay a clearing in fee, under $20 during office hours, exact change required.
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Old 19-12-2013, 14:20   #9
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What happens if it's a private sale? Does that mean no taxes at all?
No. The law still requires you to pay the Florida sales tax, unless you are going to be moving the boat out of the state within 90 days.
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Old 19-12-2013, 19:01   #10
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Re: Information needed

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You can get the 90 day exemption yourself, but then you'll have to work out the paperwork on your own. Not that big of a deal, but if the sale is being handled by a broker anyway, let them take care of it.
And just when did the state change that law denverdon? Did Fla statute 212.05 just go away?
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Old 19-12-2013, 19:24   #11
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Re: Information needed

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Common error. There is no fee for the cruising permit. You might have been charged $25 for a customs decal, (now $28 I think) which exempts the vessel from clearing in charges. The decal is good for the calendar year, Jan to Dec. Many offices do not ask you to buy the decal, then you pay a clearing in fee, under $20 during office hours, exact change required.
Vasco, you seem so sure of yourself I had to go check if things have changed since 2010 when I purchased my last cruising permit for the foreign flagged vessel owned for several years. No change found on the Customs and Border website. But I did find a special program called the "Canadian Border Boat Landing Program (I-68 Permit Program)" that you may be referring to? The customs decal is another fee that US as well as foreign flagged vessels are encouraged to obtain but not essential for either to have in order to check back into the country.
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Old 19-12-2013, 19:53   #12
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Re: Information needed

Here's the scoop on the Florida sales tax rules...

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

These tax threads seem to attract a lot of erroneous opinions along with some good info--it becomes hard to separate the wheat from the chafe. It really makes sense to go to the source for something as important as this and verify exactly what regs apply to any given situation.
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Old 19-12-2013, 20:25   #13
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Hud3 thank you so much! Just what I needed.
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Old 20-12-2013, 05:32   #14
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Re: Information needed

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Vasco, you seem so sure of yourself I had to go check if things have changed since 2010 when I purchased my last cruising permit for the foreign flagged vessel owned for several years. No change found on the Customs and Border website. But I did find a special program called the "Canadian Border Boat Landing Program (I-68 Permit Program)" that you may be referring to? The customs decal is another fee that US as well as foreign flagged vessels are encouraged to obtain but not essential for either to have in order to check back into the country.
I do not have an I68. I have been getting cruising permits for over twenty years. Have yet to pay for one. As I said earlier, the decal is good for a calendar year and the cruising permit or license is normally for one year from the date of entry. No charge. You can request a shorter period if you intend to leave the US and enter again within a year or you can surrender the permit when leaving. You must leave theUS for at least 15 days before another permit can be issued. Resident aliens can get a new permit without leaving the US if the boat was built in the US or if duty has been paid. The decal is valid for a calendar year whether you leave or not.

Here's something from their website:https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...0LICENSE%20FEE
Cruising licenses exempt pleasure boats of certain countries from having to undergo formal entry and clearance procedures and can be obtained from the CBP Port Direct at the first port of arrival in the United States. U.S. pleasure craft and foreign-flag vessels without a cruising license, which are 30 feet or longer in length, must pay an annual fee of $27.50 for the user fee decal. User Fee Decals may be purchased online through the CBP Web site.

Note that even US boats need the decal. They do not require a cruising permit.

Here's more on the decal:
https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...%20fee%20decal

Hope this clears up some of the confusion on this subject. If anyone is contemplating getting a cruising permit make sure your country is on the list.
The countries to which this applies are Argentina, Anguilla, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Marahall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. This list is subject to change and it includes countries with which the USA has reciprocal arrangements.
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