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Old 13-02-2020, 08:15   #46
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Just want to emphasize, you want to call the state tax office, not a local county office. I find that it is very hit-or-miss as to the quality of the information you get if you call a county office.
When I had a question about Florida taxes when buying an LLC with a boat as the sole asset, I called the head office in Tallahassee. I was put through to the actual head man, the Commissioner, to answer my question! He was very nice, very informative and very helpful. End result: no taxes due and an $18k savings.
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Old 13-02-2020, 17:25   #47
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Do they send a tax bill to every out of state boat that enters FL? and just hope they cannot produce the receipts or other proof that they were not there the whole time?
Yes, that is exactly what they do and several of us who posted here experienced it first hand.

They aren't trying to snare people just because they can't produce receipts, the person I dealt with was reasonable and happy to accept a number of different ways to show the boat hadn't exceeded the number of days allowed by law. It is their job to charge the tax to those who exceed the days the law sets out, and they are quite thorough at performing that job at least with CG documented vessels, again as many of us have personally experienced.
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Old 13-02-2020, 18:16   #48
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Originally Posted by Crazcarl View Post
That is what I keep seeing, but is that also applicable to a private sale? The link above states that the 90 days is only applicable to deals done with dealers and brokers, and seeing how we are not using a broker, does it still apply to me, or do I need to fill out paperwork (if even possible)?

Just hate to pay $18,000 to be there for less than 30 days...
The maximum amount of tax on any boat sold in Florida is $US18,000 no matter what the price of the boat; but most boats are subject to a 6% state sales tax and possibly much smaller city and county tax (max in high tax cities and states is 8.5%) which as a rule turns out to be much less than eighteen grand. All this applies to both private and brokered sales.

If you are really buying a boat subject to the max tax amount it is a very expensive boat. I know there are lawyers who specialize in minimizing tax liability; one famous case was when John Kerry bought a very expensive boat in MA and registered it in DE saving something like a couple of million in taxes. So my advice if you really are buying a John Kerry level boat to hire a lawyer that specializes in minimizing tax liability.

On the other hand I do know of folks who have bought boats in Florida and never paid taxes for years. Of course these are what I call throwaway boats that are hardly more than hovels for peeps who would other wise be homeless.

The thing is most boats fall somewhere in-between these two extremes. I put the answer to this question into three classes; if the boat is a thruway boat ignore everything, if it is what I call a normal boat (say under $US200,000) just make sure you will be registering the boat in some state and pay the taxes there (or maybe if it is documented you can sail to the Bahamas and avoid state registration), and if it is a really big bucks boat hire a lawyer who specializes in minimizing taxes.
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Old 13-02-2020, 18:30   #49
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Originally Posted by Crazcarl View Post
SNIP

The boat is currently USCG Documented, and state registered in DE, which I am going to do the same thing.

SNIP
Instead of using a broker I would contact a lawyer in DE and have them set up an LLC to own the boat; or maybe a trust.

That being said expensive boats registered in DE raise flags in many jurisdictions. This is because DE is well known as a place that specializes in minimizing taxes on expensive boats. Not trying to dis DE but it is not really a great place to sail compared to Florida. Another factor is most states view expensive boats as targets for a big tax bill and go out of their way to find owners they think are trying to get out of paying taxes.

The amount of money you are spending dwarf any bill you would get from a lawyer who can offer the best advice and most likely save you money and headaches.
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Old 13-02-2020, 18:44   #50
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Our boat is owned by a Delaware LLC, documented with a home port in California and registered in Florida. If your boat is over 30 years old and ours is 33, it is an antique and you only pay $40 a year. Our 14’ tender costs us much more a year than the 63’ motor yacht.
My point is that being fully legal does not have to be expensive with good legal advice.
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Old 14-02-2020, 10:44   #51
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Our boat is owned by a Delaware LLC, documented with a home port in California and registered in Florida. If your boat is over 30 years old and ours is 33, it is an antique and you only pay $40 a year. Our 14 tender costs us much more a year than the 63 motor yacht.
My point is that being fully legal does not have to be expensive with good legal advice.

You're talking about registration fees, not sales taxes.
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Old 17-02-2020, 07:55   #52
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

I just closed on a purchase in FL and filed for an extension at closing that gives me 180 days to have work done and move the boat to the east coast to prep for the long slog north end of May using the gulfstream.

I was told by both brokers the extension fee was more than worth it as the documented proof of departure is not something you fudge with.
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Old 17-02-2020, 08:07   #53
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

You have 30 days form purchase to register a boat in Florida. A USCG documented vessel does not require a title. If you register the boat in Florida you will have to pay sales tax if the registrations is less than 6 months from purchase and the vessel is not registered in another state

https://www.flhsmv.gov/motor-vehicle...registrations/

I have had 3 vessels dual registered in MD and FL and one registered in Florida. The only sales tax I paid was for one i purchased in NC and registered and keep in FL. the others had a fee ranging from $90 to $450 (I think)

A vessel registered in another state can operate without registration in Florida for 90 calendar days.

And yes they are pretty strict about it with multiple ways of finding you. Having said that i have operated in Florida waters (as have friends) for several years and have never been bothered
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Old 17-02-2020, 08:17   #54
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

FreeB35, when u get ready to move boat north text email or call SeaFly Custom, professional Mariner/Delivery Captain
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Old 17-02-2020, 08:31   #55
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

I am a MN resident, bought a boat in Florida via private sale, shipped it out immediately, and got a call from the FL tax department. I had to pay the sales tax. The exemptions are ONLY FOR SALES THROUGH A BROKER.
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Old 17-02-2020, 09:54   #56
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Originally Posted by Crazcarl View Post
That is what I keep seeing, but is that also applicable to a private sale? The link above states that the 90 days is only applicable to deals done with dealers and brokers, and seeing how we are not using a broker, does it still apply to me, or do I need to fill out paperwork (if even possible)?

Just hate to pay $18,000 to be there for less than 30 days...
AFAIK, you'll have to pay FL sales tax immediately, unless you go through a broker for the deal or a temporary exemption.

OTOH, most states have a "use tax" for larger items such as boats, vehicles etc., brought in from out of state and then kept in state. If you can prove payment of sales tax in the state of purchase, usually there is a dollar-for-dollar offset against applicable use tax. If the sales tax is equal to or lower than the use tax, then you pay the tax same dollars regardless, and it's just a bit more paperwork.

In FL, the statewide sales tax is 6%, but there are MANY locations that have a local sales tax on top, ranging from 1-3%. So try to arrange for closing to occur in a lower-tax municipality.
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Old 17-02-2020, 10:10   #57
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
When I had a question about Florida taxes when buying an LLC with a boat as the sole asset, I called the head office in Tallahassee. I was put through to the actual head man, the Commissioner, to answer my question! He was very nice, very informative and very helpful. End result: no taxes due and an $18k savings.
Correct. You purchased the LLC (the boat is an asset of the LLC) and no taxes on the sale of an LLC. That is why a number of people create an LLC just for their boat. A big sales advantage if no sale tax is due from the buyer upon the sale.
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Old 17-02-2020, 12:18   #58
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

I bought my 2007 Jeanneau 42DS through a broker in Pensacola in Oct 2015. I filed Florida Exemption of Boat Sold for Removal from the State of Florida by a Nonresident Purchaser (form GT-500003) which gave me 90 days to leave. I had to buy the corresponding decal from the broker. I then filed form DR-42E for 90 day extension. Total in decals was $425.00. I left it there in the Pensacola NAS marina until Easter 2016 and sailed around the Keys to Annapolis. The GT-500003 requires fuel, dockage or repair receipts within 10 days of departure from out of state sources and proof of license, title, registration or documentation out of state by 30 days. I found the whole process straight forward and easy to comply. Maryland by comparison was a PITA!, starting with the rude staff they recruit for their DNR offices.
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Old 17-02-2020, 14:44   #59
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Just got an old beautiful boat gifted to my son and I from a relative. FLA boat and we planned to register in Fl, we are not residents. When we went to do the paperwork, we discovered we qualified for antique boat status, and the whole thing cost 6$.

I love Florida.
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Old 17-02-2020, 16:47   #60
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Originally Posted by Crazcarl View Post
Forgot to mention that the boat will be USCG documented and registered in a different state.
Hopefully you have chosen Delaware as the state to register it in?
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