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Old 17-02-2020, 16:52   #61
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Do your homework before calling any of the agencies for info. Some know and some don't but don't assume they are telling you all the facts. If it matters, when buying a used boat in Florida, tax is only on what gear the boat originally came from the mfg with when new. All gear purchased later is not taxed...although most pay tax on everything because they don't know better. You need two bill of sales, one for boat and one for gear. Otherwise the state will tax everything. This is totally legal but don't expect any tax office clerk to know or tell you.

Also, as far as the state tracking your sale, they have no clue a private sale has happened unless someone does something to alert them. Use a documentation agent to handle the paperwork and check for liens. If you go to a broker for this he will hire one and attach a fee to it.
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Old 17-02-2020, 17:05   #62
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Hopefully you have chosen Delaware as the state to register it in?
The vessel should be registered in the State of Principal Use, which typically is defined as when the boat resides for either 60 days or 90 days within a State's waters. Each State establishes its own registration requirements, research each and every State that you enter to know the requirements of that State. It is not uncommon to need to reregister your vessel as you transit if you tend to reside for extended periods of time in any State. If the vessel is documented by the USCG then there is no titling at the State level but many States require USCG documented vessels and foreign flag vessels to register if they linger in the State's territorial waters.
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Old 17-02-2020, 17:59   #63
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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You're talking about registration fees, not sales taxes.
No sales tax was due because the boat was still owned by the same LLC. We just bought the LLC, there is no sales tax on purchase of a company.

The assets of a Delaware corporation can be registered in any state you choose. In our case we picked Florida since we spend more time there than any other state in a given year and because they are very aggressive about collecting registration fees. It was a no-brainer IMHO.
The boat is also documented with a home port in Central California.
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Old 17-02-2020, 18:10   #64
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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No sales tax was due because the boat was still owned by the same LLC. We just bought the LLC, there is no sales tax on purchase of a company.

The assets of a Delaware corporation can be registered in any state you choose. In our case we picked Florida since we spend more time there than any other state in a given year and because they are very aggressive about collecting registration fees. It was a no-brainer IMHO.
The boat is also documented with a home port in Central California.

It's a good scam, I'll grant you that.
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Old 17-02-2020, 18:57   #65
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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It's a good scam, I'll grant you that.
According to the head tax collector of the state of Florida, it is a “known loophole” and perfectly above board. No scam at all: there is no obligation nor virtue in paying taxes one does not owe.
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Old 17-02-2020, 19:03   #66
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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It's a good scam, I'll grant you that.
Nothing about it is a scam, that's how corporations and LLCs have always worked and it's fundamental to the concept that a corporate entity owns assets and shareholders own the corporation. If you changed it you'd wreak havock with pretty much all commerce in the country!
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Old 18-02-2020, 06:16   #67
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Private sales aren't really tracked by Florida if it's USCG documented. If it's FL registered with a FL title there is a top half that you tear off the title and the seller is supposed to mail to the state. Most people don't bother. Make sure they don't send it in until after you leave the state to be ��
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Old 18-02-2020, 09:37   #68
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

I had the same predicament. I bought the USCG documented boat in a private sale, had to leave FL within 30 days. I searched everywhere looking to lessen my taxes or avoid the tax man. It ain’t gonna happen. You pull into a Marina you need paperwork, Game Warden, Sheriff, USCG pulls up on you, you need paperwork. The Coast Guard docs will only get you so far for so long.
I avoided the tax man for a year and paid an extra $1K in fines for it. My boat is old enough I don’t have to display my registration numbers but I have to present my tax docs when asked. Some Marina’s are patrolled by the tax man twice a year looking for proof of registration and / or tax docs. Don’t get caught.
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Old 18-02-2020, 10:11   #69
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

It is really rather basic, if you utilize the privilege of purchasing or of using your vessel in a State's waters [e.g., Florida] and stay beyond the short statutory period of exemption provided to transit and relocate out of the State's waters then one invokes the privilege taxation, of either Sales or Use tax and also the requirement to register your vessel with the State.

FLORIDA VESSEL REGISTRATION – USCG DOCUMENTED
To Register a USCG Documented Vessel in the State of Florida bring the following:

A completed application to Register Non-Titled Vessel form HSMV 87244
Copy of USCG documentation papers
Copy of executed bill of sale
Proof of sales tax exemption or proof of payment of sales tax if boat has been owned less than 6 months
Registration Fee (fees are based upon length of boat, see chart below)
The Certificate of Documentation and Florida registration must be on board the vessel at all times.
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Old 18-02-2020, 10:39   #70
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

This may be a dumb ass question? Realizing Fla. has a high sales tax but what is your home state's and the sales price. In some cases the hassle may not be worth the savings.
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Old 18-02-2020, 16:41   #71
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

To be positively sure, check with the county tax office. In Panama City one can do his auto and vessel registration and drivers license all at the same place. I don't know about other counties. The state where the vessel will live may very likely require you to pay tax and register it there for whatever their charge. You may want to check which state has the lowest tax, it could be a considerable difference and find out if would be taxed in both. I think you may be able to get out of the FL tax if you are removing it soon. But the tax office can answer that question. Good luck.
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Old 18-02-2020, 18:37   #72
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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I had the same predicament. I bought the USCG documented boat in a private sale, had to leave FL within 30 days. I searched everywhere looking to lessen my taxes or avoid the tax man. It ain’t gonna happen. You pull into a Marina you need paperwork, Game Warden, Sheriff, USCG pulls up on you, you need paperwork. The Coast Guard docs will only get you so far for so long.
I avoided the tax man for a year and paid an extra $1K in fines for it. My boat is old enough I don’t have to display my registration numbers but I have to present my tax docs when asked. Some Marina’s are patrolled by the tax man twice a year looking for proof of registration and / or tax docs. Don’t get caught.
Were you still in Florida? I am planning on going back to NY for a couple months, then leaving there without staying the 90 consecutive days. We will then stay for a little while in Virginia, maybe Delaware, and for a little while in South Carolina. We are planning on staying out of Florida for more than 6 months after we have initially left. We will make sure to have receipts documenting where we have been. I would like to spend a month or so back in Florida next December or so, and then head over to Bahamas, and essentially not planning on coming back to the USA with the boat.
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Old 18-02-2020, 19:38   #73
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Florida lowered the sales tax rate on boats about ten years ago because so many were legally avoiding them, those ways are still in effect but hardly worth it with the lower rates, if the principal state of use will continue to be Florida, this is all explained online by looking it up.

When not staying in Florida, or moving around, many other states have 90 or 120 day grace periods after which the boat must be registered in that state. This is where the Delaware LLC is best. For a few hundred dollars, plus a bit of annual maintenance you can purchase, CG document, and register your vessel in Delaware. If you are a vagabond there is no limit to how many states could technically claim you owe registration fees, AND always sales taxes. While it is not a requirement in Delaware that you register a documented boat, having a registration sticker on your window keeps prying eyes at bay as in states where registrations are required for CG documented boats, this is how they spot foreign vessels for whom they then have the owner prove they are transient and have not been in that state long enough to owe sales tax and registration fees��
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Old 19-02-2020, 08:35   #74
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Florida lowered the sales tax rate on boats about ten years ago because so many were legally avoiding them, those ways are still in effect but hardly worth it with the lower rates, if the principal state of use will continue to be Florida, this is all explained online by looking it up.

When not staying in Florida, or moving around, many other states have 90 or 120 day grace periods after which the boat must be registered in that state. This is where the Delaware LLC is best. For a few hundred dollars, plus a bit of annual maintenance you can purchase, CG document, and register your vessel in Delaware. If you are a vagabond there is no limit to how many states could technically claim you owe registration fees, AND always sales taxes. While it is not a requirement in Delaware that you register a documented boat, having a registration sticker on your window keeps prying eyes at bay as in states where registrations are required for CG documented boats, this is how they spot foreign vessels for whom they then have the owner prove they are transient and have not been in that state long enough to owe sales tax and registration fees��
No offense but Florida sales tax on boats has been 6% for many decades and never changed. The 2010 tax change didn't lower it. I suppose you are talking use tax for out of state residents?

I've been boating a long time on the east coast of Florida and been checked more than a couple times from Canaveral to Key West. Never heard or seen the USCG, marine patrol or tax assessor agent go out to check decals or paperwork for taxes. The one exception is when Florida tried to do property tax on boats for liveaboards (as homeowners) in the early 1970s. The IRS, Federal Marshals and US Customs are another story but that isn't normally for state sales tax. There are always exceptions but generally speaking no state agencies are walking docks or checking registrations for sales tax. Your out of state boat with out of state registration can sit in most marinas for yrs without an agency contacting you.
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Old 19-02-2020, 10:05   #75
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Ok, FL did not lower rate but capped the use tax at $18,000 versus the &150K plus the tax on my last boat would have been.

The remarks regarding registrations were for states outside FL in case you missed that, personally I have never been checked for anything in FL but have been in states up north looking for tax revenue from vagabond boaters
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