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Old 12-09-2019, 10:13   #1
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Tax confusion

Hi! Hoping some experts can give us some insight on taxes. My husband and I are in the process of buying a sailboat in Florida, and we are Canadian citizens. We are not looking to avoid taxes, but would like to pay the least amount possible. Our plan is to stay in Florida for a couple of months to learn our new boat, and then sail to the Caribbean for the winter months. I know that we have the option to not pay tax in Florida, and have 90 days to stay before clearing out (with a $75 permit), and a one time option to increase it another 90 days (at a cost). Now, we don't know if we will be taking the boat to Canada in 2020 or 2021 (depends on our learning curve ) So my question is, if we pay the taxes in Florida and registered the boat in Florida, would we still be subject to provincial tax if and when we enter Canada (as in would we be double taxed)? I am only interested in the sales tax aspect as we know that duties are covered under NAFTA as the boat is American made. Also, what would our tax implications be if we registered in the Islands somewhere as opposed to paying tax/registering in Florida? Any insight is appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:16   #2
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Re: Tax confusion

Call your local office and ask them. Sure they can tell you accurately.

Good luck
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:24   #3
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Re: Tax confusion

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Call your local office and ask them. Sure they can tell you accurately.

Good luck
local? would that be in Canada, Florida, or the Caribbean?

Quite sure the folks in Canada will just know Canadian laws, etc.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:27   #4
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Re: Tax confusion

Where are you going to register the boat?
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:31   #5
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Re: Tax confusion

Your question was “if you paid the tax in Florida would you be responsible for a tax when you bring the boat to Canada”...... so call your local tax office and ask them.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:43   #6
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Re: Tax confusion

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Where are you going to register the boat?
Initially, we planned to register somewhere in the Islands. If we were to pay the Florida tax, then we would also register in Florida. We were not planning on registering in Canada.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:48   #7
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Re: Tax confusion

Unless you're staying in Florida, I see little reason to pay the taxes there. Simply don't stay in Florida waters longer than is allowed by their tax laws.

Moving the vessel to Canada and paying taxes there is a mutually exclusive question.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:55   #8
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Re: Tax confusion

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Unless you're staying in Florida, I see little reason to pay the taxes there. Simply don't stay in Florida waters longer than is allowed by their tax laws.

Moving the vessel to Canada and paying taxes there is a mutually exclusive question.
Can you explain further? We would not be moving the vessel to Canada for any extended period (up to six months max), and it will not be happening for a while yet. We do not plan on staying in Florida. Rather, we will be sailing around the Caribbean. We know we have to pay taxes somewhere, however Florida taxes are only 6% versus 15% in Nova Scotia. So if paying and registering in Florida can save is some $, that would be ideal. Does that make sense? Initially we were going to register and pay in the Islands (cayman, bahamas, grenada). I am just looking for clarification that we wouldn't be double charged taxes when we do return to Canada.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:10   #9
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Re: Tax confusion

I couldn't say whether Canada would honor taxes paid in another country. Being a Canadian citizen obviously complicates that. Typically taxes are paid and a boat is registered where it lives.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:12   #10
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Re: Tax confusion

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Can you explain further? We would not be moving the vessel to Canada for any extended period (up to six months max), and it will not be happening for a while yet. We do not plan on staying in Florida. Rather, we will be sailing around the Caribbean. We know we have to pay taxes somewhere, however Florida taxes are only 6% versus 15% in Nova Scotia. So if paying and registering in Florida can save is some $, that would be ideal. Does that make sense? Initially we were going to register and pay in the Islands (cayman, bahamas, grenada). I am just looking for clarification that we wouldn't be double charged taxes when we do return to Canada.
It's my understanding that to register in Florida you have to be a resident (ie:FL state ID and home address required to register auto)
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:24   #11
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Re: Tax confusion

As Canadian citizens, if you want to take the boat abroad you will need to register with Transport Canada and obtain a certificate, so your vessel is "Canadian flagged". You will not have to pay taxes until your boat crosses Canadian border.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:30   #12
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Re: Tax confusion

If you are residents of Canada (citizens of Canada or not) you are subject to sales taxes when you bring your boat to Canada. Unless you want to do some reparations on the boat and have a contract with a Yard (anti-fouling is ok). You will have to leave the next year no later than June (beginning or end I am not 100% sure). You can reduce your amount of tax to GST only if you enter a different province than yours.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:45   #13
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Re: Tax confusion

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It's my understanding that to register in Florida you have to be a resident (ie:FL state ID and home address required to register auto)
This is absolutely not true. There are a lot of boats registered in Florida by owners who are NOT legal residents of the state.
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Old 12-09-2019, 13:23   #14
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Re: Tax confusion

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As Canadian citizens, if you want to take the boat abroad you will need to register with Transport Canada and obtain a certificate, so your vessel is "Canadian flagged". You will not have to pay taxes until your boat crosses Canadian border.
So we are required to register in Canada just on the merit that we are citizens of that country? Does this also apply if we never intend to enter Canadian waters? This is where I am confused, as we have been told that we can absolutely register the vessel in Florida, or any where else for that matter. BVI's, Panama etc.
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Old 12-09-2019, 13:47   #15
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Re: Tax confusion

Title matches subject, replies, answers, follow up questions; the whole lot!!!
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