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Old 12-05-2018, 08:36   #1
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avoiding taxes, fees, and regulations

Just wanted to hear some tips for avoiding taxes, fees, and other regulations.

It seems the governments of the world have locked down their system to extract as much money as possible.

Is it better go visit rich countries that can offset fees with other sources of income? It seems some countries shake down cruisers for money to fund their government.

When I take to the high seas I plan to live on the hook with a water maker and solar panel array.

Part of my reason for wanting a catamaran instead of a house is to have less government in my life and be free from any particular government.

I don't mind paying $26 a year for coast guard registration. But I don't want to have to deal with too many government regulations.

Do you have more interaction with he government as a cruiser than when you were living in the mainland?

Also when traveling to countries with unstable governments do you end up paying fake fees or do you require them to provide documentation. like if you are off the coast of Venezuela and the "coast guard" shows up in an inflatable boat heavily armed with machine guns.

I plan to buy my boat in international waters and keep it in Virgin Islands and go south to either panama or Cartagena for the hurricane season.
I am not looking for challenging sailing and 40 foot waves. I like fair weather sailing.

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Old 12-05-2018, 08:51   #2
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Re: avoiding taxes, fees, and regulations

Go to .. it has a lot of the technocratic info on cruising regs you're looking for. The short answer to most of your questions is it depends. The smart thing before visiting a country on your boat is to do your homework and just as importantly, once there, keep a positive attitude in dealing with the officials.

One of the beauties of cruising is that you can slip off the grid and live what's really the last truest bastion of freedom out there, but you still gotta play by the rules and pay the piper. You will have more govt interaction than you're used to when clearing in/out of places.

Lastly, go into it with the creed "watch your wake". There are many who have come before who put a good face forward for what's now your benefit, and others after who will depend on us to not leave scars behind on the countries visited.



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Old 14-05-2018, 10:26   #3
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Re: avoiding taxes, fees, and regulations

There isn't anyplace left in this world that isn't claimed under the jurisdiction of some government. So, if you think you can get away from government, you can't. Sorry if that bursts your bubble, but that is the way the world works now.

As for government interaction, I would say it is going to be at least the same. It sort of depends on your plans. If, for example, you are sailing down through the eastern Caribbean, then you'll be checking in and out of a lot of different countries. You will have more government interaction in a couple of weeks than most land-lubbers have in a year. Find a spot you like and stay there for a while, and then it's probably about the same as for a land-lubber -- which is to say, relatively little.
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Old 14-05-2018, 11:06   #4

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Re: avoiding taxes, fees, and regulations

You won't have a house but you also won't be a resident and citizen of wherever you are. So, you have no vote, no say in how things are run, and the folks who do, are going to take advantage of that.

For instance in Florida, a permanent resident can get a "homestead" exemption on their real estate taxes. You live there, so you get a discount. But a snowbird, who is only there 4 months of the year, isn't using any local services for 8 months of the year, doesn't use the school system, etc.? Well, a snowbird has no vote, so they get no exemption, and they more MORE while using LESS. And they can't do anything about it because they have no vote.

Florida, Vermont, a number of states and major cities all have 10-15% "tourist tax" on their hotels, and that's often above sales tax. No vote? No control. As a full-time transient, all you can do is chose locations where the local want tourists, and encourage them instead of feeding off them.

These days, there are hands in your pockets everywhere.
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Old 14-05-2018, 11:31   #5
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Re: avoiding taxes, fees, and regulations

How does one go about buying a sailboat in international waters?

If you want to avoid interactions with government representatives, I can think of two alternatives:

1) After you buy your boat, you could simply stay in international waters. Arrange for supplies to be ferried out to you.

2) Find a weak target, invade, take over, and live in anarchy. Bring all your guns and lots of ammo; you'll need them.
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