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Florida Use Tax

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by wotan98, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. wotan98

    wotan98 New Member

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    Does a preowned boat purchased outside of Florida, registered outside and for which sales taxes are paid outside become subject to a use tax if it’s brought to Florida for 4-5 months each winter? If so, how much is it?
  2. wotan98

    wotan98 New Member

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    I’m New York based.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    If you are not a Florida resident, no it is not
  4. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Provided it is not conjoined with any other property you own in Florida.
  5. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    We own a documented vessel that is state registered in CT and paid the CT sales tax when we purchased her. We keep the boat in Florida for the winter months and have her state registered there as well. The cost is in the 100s of dollars and gives you a Florida sticker to display.

    There was definitely some confusion at the county tax office when we first registered, but the renewals are done easily by mail every 2 years.
  6. wotan98

    wotan98 New Member

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    It sounds like a) you are not keeping her in Florida for 180 consecutive days, b) you were not asked to pay the sales tax again by Florida, and c) that “hundreds of dollars” is for Florida registration or something else. Correct? And why do you need two state registrations?
  7. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    I can’t speak to all scenarios, but my vessel is USCG documented AND registered in my domicile state (where I also paid sales tax in excess of what FL would have charged if FL was my home state). FL requires registration if a vessel, under my conditions, is kept in florida for 90 days or more. I am not aware of a 180 day limit.

    The process is easy and I consider the registration fees reasonable. Yes, it is a fee based on a fee schedule, not a sales/use tax based on the value of the boat.

    I display registration stickers from two states.


    Here is what the SarasotaTax office says on their website:
    “A documented vessel must be registered in Florida, if used on Florida waters for longer than 90 days. The registration number will be the official federal documentation number and a decal will also be issued. The decal must be affixed to a window or the windshield on the port side of the vessel. The registration will be issued in the name shown on the federal documentation papers. Commercial vessels registered to a non-resident of Florida pay an additional fee of $50.00.”
  8. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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    Every 89th day, we made a three day trip to Brunswick, Ga. Kept the fuel and motel receipts just in case. Upon returning the 90 day clock re-set itself
  9. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    The cruising fee is relatively inexpensive, isn't it? Would have thought it'd almost be more expensive to go to Brunswick for a night...

    -Chris
  10. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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    Nope. Cheaper to have work done in Georgia than Fla
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Near upset with this comment.
    The better Savannah shops keep closing. Nothing in Brunswick.
    There has been no quality work in GA for many years. There are rip off shops.
    Our south Georgia (attitude) shop in Jax made half of it's money from south bound transients that were able to survive Ga. Ga is not boater friendly. Return travelers were advised to use the off shore currents and keep on going past Ga.
    One of my faverate stories, Snail Bote under power, got a speeding ticket thru Thunderbolt (where I lived once).
    Next time anybody stops by Ortega Landings Marina in Jax, Ask the Dock Master about this. His kat could of swam faster and he got a speeding ticket. LOL, LOL..
    I miss his big fat white kat,,, Fluffy..
  12. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    I didn't mean having work done. I thought you meant you went to Georgia for a night just to avoid the FL cruising fee. Isn't that cruising permit pretty cheap, in the grand scheme of things?


    Going there in Dec. With our black ship's cat. :)

    -Chris
  13. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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    We lived in So Fla for 6 miserable years of my 30 yr stint. Hated being there and left every chance we could - to the Bahamas, Belize, Caymansm Bermuda and yes - even Alabama & Georgia. I never registered my vessel in Fla - they were intrusive and double taxation was against my principles. As a serviceman, the state never asked me or anyone else on the base to change their drivers licenses or license plates - so why the boat registrations? My CO said to leave every 89 days - so we rafted up and went to Brunswick and Darien. Some work was done there - we're talking about 1978. I no longer reside there, taking me to my last base in Panama and now Iceland.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Dawgs everywhere, yet the marina still has a tude about cats.
    Bruce is the dock master who got the speeding ticket must have been 10 years ago now.
    Cam is the new GM working for IGY Marine.
    If you need anything let me know. Been working those docks since they were old wood covered slips and a working yard.
  15. Mark Woglom

    Mark Woglom Senior Member

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    Live in Gilford NH. Boat in Sarasota winters, New
    My understanding is as follows:

    A "use tax" would be payable in FL if:

    1. You brought the boat to FL within 180 days of purchase, AND
    2. You did not pay at least the equivalent of the sales tax due in FL, in another State, AND
    3. You keep the boat in FL for over 90 days.

    Otherwise, no sales or use tax is due for a boat that is purchased outside of FL, and subsequently registered in FL. If a sales/use tax were due, it would be 6% of the purchase price (capped at $18K), less any amounts paid towards sales taxes in another state.

    As to registration, you are required to register the boat in FL if you use it in FL for more than 90 days, even if it is registered in another state. It is not clear to me if that is 90 consecutive days, or 90 days out of the year. That said, the registration cost is fairly small, and not worth avoiding if you spend a significant part of the year in FL.

    I will tell you that they do monitor this stuff. My primary residence was NH, and I bought a boat in SC, where the sales tax was negligible. I did not bring the boat to FL for over 6 months, nor did I register it in another State prior to bringing it to FL, as it was undergoing repairs in both SC and NC. Shortly after registering in FL, I got a notice that a "use tax" was due. I was able to provide sufficient evidence that the boat was purchased at least 6 months prior to bringing it to FL, and the "use tax" was subsequently waived.
  16. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    The state of Florida requires that its bridge tenders keep logs of vessels names and hailing ports on all bridge openings to assist the methods of monitoring how long a vessel has been in the state.
  17. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Thanks for info, and I'll keep you in mind. Happens I'm thinking to replace our original battery charger when we're down there, with a new unit where I can set voltages... prepping for a switch to new batteries maybe the following year (if necessary)... and I'll want to treat myself to an electrician for that install.

    Our ship's cat is an indoor-only critter, so no one else will likely even notice. :)

    -Chris
  18. Boomer

    Boomer Senior Member

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    Btw, if your boat is over 30 years old, it qualifies as an antique in Florida and the yearly registration is 7.00...not a misprint!!
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Only for personal owned boats to Florida residents.
    Group, out of state owner, company or incorporated boats do not qualify
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Boats owned by LLC are eligible.