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Old 11-02-2020, 20:11   #1
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experience with Florida taxes after purchase

I am planning on purchasing a boat. The survey and exchange will technically happen in Florida, however, neither of us are from Florida, or plan on staying or living in Florida. This is a private sale without a Broker. Do I have to file paperwork stating I am leaving the state after the sale? How long do I have? Anyone with experiences in this? I know this is not tax advice, but I have heard some people have been in Florida for years without paying, I am just wondering if I can stay a couple extra weeks before leaving after purchase, or if I need to leave soon after. Thanks all
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Old 11-02-2020, 20:21   #2
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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I am planning on purchasing a boat. The survey and exchange will technically happen in Florida, however, neither of us are from Florida, or plan on staying or living in Florida. This is a private sale without a Broker. Do I have to file paperwork stating I am leaving the state after the sale? How long do I have? Anyone with experiences in this? I know this is not tax advice, but I have heard some people have been in Florida for years without paying, I am just wondering if I can stay a couple extra weeks before leaving after purchase, or if I need to leave soon after. Thanks all
If someone got away with this for years they must never have gotten fuel, gone under a lift bridge or stayed at a marina. My boat was there for less than a month with a single transit in and out (and in was in the dead of night) and the rest of the time tucked way up at Fort Lauderdale Marine and I still got a letter from their tax department and had to demonstrate that I hadn't spent more than the allowed time in FL waters without paying sales tax. There are rules that allow you time to get your boat out, just don't think about breaking them even by a day if you don't want the tax bill because they're very serious about this and have a good surveillance network in place to nab you.
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Old 11-02-2020, 20:37   #3
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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If someone got away with this for years they must never have gotten fuel, gone under a lift bridge or stayed at a marina. My boat was there for less than a month with a single transit in and out (and in was in the dead of night) and the rest of the time tucked way up at Fort Lauderdale Marine and I still got a letter from their tax department and had to demonstrate that I hadn't spent more than the allowed time in FL waters without paying sales tax. There are rules that allow you time to get your boat out, just don't think about breaking them even by a day if you don't want the tax bill because they're very serious about this and have a good surveillance network in place to nab you.
Thanks for the response. What was the allowed time? 90 days? less?

Just wondering if we can leave the boat there for 2-3 weeks before coming back and sailing it north.
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Old 11-02-2020, 20:45   #4
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

You have 180 days, in 90 day chunks, available as 90 day decals through your broker. But seeing as how it's a private sale, you'll want to get it out immediately or even maybe not take delivery in Florida based on this document. Yikes. I've only bought through brokers in Florida. Might make sense to involve a broker just to ease these taxation issues.

https://floridarevenue.com/Forms_lib...t/gt800005.pdf
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Old 11-02-2020, 20:50   #5
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Is the boat in Florida? A non-resident who documents or registers the boat in another state can only be there for 90 days. Residents have 30 days to register.
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Old 11-02-2020, 21:02   #6
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Is the boat in Florida? A non-resident who documents or registers the boat in another state can only be there for 90 days. Residents have 30 days to register.
Not yet. The boat will be bought into Florida for about a week before survey, and then we should hopefully close a week after survey. So wondering if I need to leave right after, or if I have some time to stay, and if there are any documents I need to fill out to stay, even if for a couple more weeks.
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Old 11-02-2020, 21:05   #7
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Forgot to mention that the boat will be USCG documented and registered in a different state. We are essentially meeting in FL for survey and closing, and then both going on our separate ways, so wondering how long I have till I need to leave.
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Old 11-02-2020, 21:12   #8
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Forgot to mention that the boat will be USCG documented and registered in a different state. We are essentially meeting in FL for survey and closing, and then both going on our separate ways, so wondering how long I have till I need to leave.

90 days and I'm assuming you are not a Fla. resident. You can always do an offshore closing then you aren't in Florida. I think it's 3 miles out.
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Old 11-02-2020, 21:14   #9
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

Vessel can stay longer if in a Florida yard for work by the yard. Details here:https://www.the-triton.com/2018/11/r...da-boat-sales/
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Old 11-02-2020, 21:15   #10
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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90 days
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...
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Old 11-02-2020, 21:58   #11
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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90 days and I'm assuming you are not a Fla. resident. You can always do an offshore closing then you aren't in Florida. I think it's 3 miles out.
Correct, I am not a FL resident, but this is a private sale. I keep seeing the 90 day provision is only for deals done through brokers or dealers...
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Old 11-02-2020, 22:50   #12
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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Correct, I am not a FL resident, but this is a private sale. I keep seeing the 90 day provision is only for deals done through brokers or dealers...


You are correct. I sold a boat once through a private sale and since the buyer needed to keep it here for a while he paid a broker to give him the exemption. Itís donít think it was not a lot of money, definitely not anywhere near what a commission would have been.
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Old 11-02-2020, 23:43   #13
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

In a private sale tax is due immediately, there are no outs. Note also that registration and use tax are due 90 days after the boat enters Florida. Make sure the seller hasn’t been there long enough to trigger that clause as you could end up buying a boat that has a tax lien. Then find a friendly broker to sell you an exemption that gives you 90 or 180 days from purchase (as long as the boat is over 5 tons, which presumably it is because it is documented).
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:21   #14
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

I've sold 3 catamaran privately to out of state buyers. All 3 left within 2 months to 3 months. Not one paid sales tax nor had any issues. This was all in the last 7 years.
You are not registering it in the state, they have no way of knowing who you are , even if you buy fuel, go thru a bridge etc (paranoia much lol)
If stopped within the 90 days show your sales paperwork and your fine...
When you sell a boat as a registered Floridian boat owner you do not need to provide any details of the sale , and when the registration renewal notice shows up you throw it out.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:11   #15
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Re: experience with Florida taxes after purchase

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I've sold 3 catamaran privately to out of state buyers. All 3 left within 2 months to 3 months. Not one paid sales tax nor had any issues. This was all in the last 7 years.
You are not registering it in the state, they have no way of knowing who you are , even if you buy fuel, go thru a bridge etc (paranoia much lol)
If stopped within the 90 days show your sales paperwork and your fine...
When you sell a boat as a registered Floridian boat owner you do not need to provide any details of the sale , and when the registration renewal notice shows up you throw it out.
If you do a search you'll see plenty of folks who get the call from the tax department, so they've clearly got a system set up to track boats in the state. Not sure exactly how they do it, but I certainly had no interaction at all with the state and got the letter several months later at home in Maryland. Happy to post a scan of it if you're calling BS on me? It's an $18K gamble for the OP, are you willing to pay that for them if you're skepticism is wrong? Your buyers got lucky, that's all.
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