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Old 01-22-2018, 10:05 PM   #1
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Buying a Boat in the US

I'm Canadian and I'm planning on buying a used boat in the US. The boat will remain in the US. I'm guessing I need to register and pay taxes on it. The boat will be on Lake Champlain between the states of Vermont and New York. Can I chose where to register and pay the sale taxes? thanks in advance for any advice to my American cousins.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:49 AM   #2
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I'm Canadian and I'm planning on buying a used boat in the US. The boat will remain in the US. I'm guessing I need to register and pay taxes on it. The boat will be on Lake Champlain between the states of Vermont and New York. Can I chose where to register and pay the sale taxes? thanks in advance for any advice to my American cousins.
The sales tax will be paid in whatever jurisdiction the sale is in. For example, if you buy the boat in Burlington, VT, you'll pay the sales tax at that city's local rate.

You will want to contact both the New York and Vermont state departments of motor vehicles to inquire about ownership requirements. In most cases a vessel or vehicle must be owned by a state resident to be registered in that state.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:01 AM   #3
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The sales tax will be paid in whatever jurisdiction the sale is in. For example, if you buy the boat in Burlington, VT, you'll pay the sales tax at that city's local rate.

You will want to contact both the New York and Vermont state departments of motor vehicles to inquire about ownership requirements. In most cases a vessel or vehicle must be owned by a state resident to be registered in that state.
So if I'm not resident of either state actually not an American resident how could I register the boat?
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:11 AM   #4
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So if I'm not resident of either state actually not an American resident how could I register the boat?
That's where you're going to have to do your homework. Some states may allow out-of-state owners, most don't. Some owners have formed corporations for exactly this purpose. In such a case the corporation has an address in the state.

In my state, the marinas have huge numbers of boats owned by residents of BC, but in most cases they register them in BC and just keep them here.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:18 AM   #5
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I don’t believe this is correct. It certainly is not the case in Washington state.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:27 AM   #6
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That's where you're going to have to do your homework. Some states may allow out-of-state owners, most don't. Some owners have formed corporations for exactly this purpose. In such a case the corporation has an address in the state.

In my state, the marinas have huge numbers of boats owned by residents of BC, but in most cases they register them in BC and just keep them here.
These seems more complicated then I thought, yes it does seem I need to do some leg work. I'll post back what I found ...thanks
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:34 AM   #7
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It is all going to depend on where you keep the boat. If your going to keep the boat at a marina on the New York side of the lake you'll have to register and pay sales tax to New York. If you pick a marina on the Vermont side you'll register and pay sales tax to Vermont. There is no need to be a resident of either state.
I went to Plattsburgh City Marina a couple of years ago and their parking lot was full of Canadian cars. People living in Canada and keeping their boat at Plattsburgh City Marina.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:36 AM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. T. Are you talking about registering/documenting OR licensing (State #'s on the bow)? 2 entirely different government jurisdictions. 2 different sets of laws as far as I know.
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:42 AM   #9
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I donít believe this is correct. It certainly is not the case in Washington state.
I agree! We bought, owned and had registered in Washington State two separate boats while being a resident of Oregon. Washington is fine with collecting taxes (both sales and use) on a boat that is docked in the State. They don't care where the owner is located at.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:49 AM   #10
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It is all going to depend on where you keep the boat. If your going to keep the boat at a marina on the New York side of the lake you'll have to register and pay sales tax to New York. If you pick a marina on the Vermont side you'll register and pay sales tax to Vermont. There is no need to be a resident of either state.
I went to Plattsburgh City Marina a couple of years ago and their parking lot was full of Canadian cars. People living in Canada and keeping their boat at Plattsburgh City Marina.
That's what I was thinking also, Lake Champlain is like 80% Canadian boaters. Those Canadian license plates are mostly from owners that bought boats from a Canadian dealer but the boat was delivered to the US hence those Canadians don't pay Canadian taxes on the boat nor US taxes because the boat goes back into storage on the Canadian side. The boats can return back into Canada for storage or guarantee maintenance if they cross back into Canadian waters for any other reason they will pay sales tax on the boat.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:58 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. T. Are you talking about registering/documenting OR licensing (State #'s on the bow)? 2 entirely different government jurisdictions. 2 different sets of laws as far as I know.

Ok do I have to have a USCG document of the boat? because from my understanding only US citizens can have that document. I was initially talking about licensing the boat, Question can I buy it, example in Maine and then boat it to lake Champlain and license it in Vermont for instance.

thanks for any advice very helpful all
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:06 PM   #12
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I'm Canadian and I'm planning on buying a used boat in the US. The boat will remain in the US. I'm guessing I need to register and pay taxes on it. The boat will be on Lake Champlain between the states of Vermont and New York. Can I chose where to register and pay the sale taxes? thanks in advance for any advice to my American cousins.
A lot of incorrect information given. Sales tax may or may not be paid where the sale is made. If the boat is to be moved to another jurisdiction, you typically can exempt from the sales tax and then pay use tax where you take the boat. The comment then about states not allowing out of state boat owners is just false. I am not aware of a single state that won't register a boat to owners from other states and countries.

Now, you will be required to register the boat where it's to be kept. You don't get to choose and there is no between two states, you're in one or the others. That's not to say though that you can't select the state you feel is most favorable and keep the boat there.

As to sales or use tax, it will also be based on the primary home of the boat. Now, there are various time tables based on where you purchase and where you intend to keep it. Each state exempts you based on different periods allowed for removing the boat. Each state has it's own rules as to taxation of boats brought into the state and time periods of previous ownership. Also, each state has it's own rules as to how long you can have a boat there before you must register it in that state.

Then there is property tax which some states have on boats and others don't.

I would simply look at where I intend to use the boat and then research sales and use tax, property tax, and registration for the state and/or states near.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:08 PM   #13
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Ok do I have to have a USCG document of the boat? because from my understanding only US citizens can have that document. I was initially talking about licensing the boat, Question can I buy it, example in Maine and then boat it to lake Champlain and license it in Vermont for instance.

thanks for any advice very helpful all
No, not only do you not have to, you can't. You simply register it in a state.

Yes, you can buy in Maine and take it to Vermont and register it there if that's where you intend to keep it.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:08 PM   #14
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Ok great info thanks all ...One last question , splinting hairs here, Seeing I'm doing most of my boating on Lake Champlain and I choose to register in Vermont because it seems to have a lower tax rate then NY, but I dock for the summer in a marina across the lake in New York ...can I do this ? seeing the boat will be more on the new York side but I register it in Vermont can I counter that by winterizing and storaging it on the Vermont side during the winter months ?
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:22 PM   #15
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you would need to see if NY and Vermont have a reciprocal agreement on registration and taxes. I live in Pennsylvania and keep my boat in New Jersey on the Delaware River. Since the Delaware borders both states you can register in one state and keep the boat on the opposite shore.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:37 PM   #16
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Ok great info thanks all ...One last question , splinting hairs here, Seeing I'm doing most of my boating on Lake Champlain and I choose to register in Vermont because it seems to have a lower tax rate then NY, but I dock for the summer in a marina across the lake in New York ...can I do this ? seeing the boat will be more on the new York side but I register it in Vermont can I counter that by winterizing and storaging it on the Vermont side during the winter months ?
No. NY has specific rules that would require you to register in NY and might subject you to use tax. If you keep the boat in NY for 90 days, then you must register it there. Registration is inexpensive. However, it could subject you to use tax. I do not know NY's specifics in that regard.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:42 PM   #17
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Ok great info thanks all ...One last question , splinting hairs here, Seeing I'm doing most of my boating on Lake Champlain and I choose to register in Vermont because it seems to have a lower tax rate then NY, but I dock for the summer in a marina across the lake in New York ...can I do this ? seeing the boat will be more on the new York side but I register it in Vermont can I counter that by winterizing and storaging it on the Vermont side during the winter months ?
You also need to reexamine your information as Vermont may not have a lower tax rate as you have assumed. There's is 6%. NY's is as low as 4% or as high as 8.75% depending on location. NY gives you credit for tax paid to another state. Vermont does not do so. NY has a cap on sales tax on a boat so they can compete with Florida. Vermont does not.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:47 PM   #18
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You also need to reexamine your information as Vermont may not have a lower tax rate as you have assumed. There's is 6%. NY's is as low as 4% or as high as 8.75% depending on location. NY gives you credit for tax paid to another state. Vermont does not do so. NY has a cap on sales tax on a boat so they can compete with Florida. Vermont does not.
Cool looks I need to get in touch with New York and Vermont to really look at the details ...thanks again
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:55 PM   #19
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Cool looks I need to get in touch with New York and Vermont to really look at the details ...thanks again
And looks like you need to decide where you want to keep the boat and then just pay what it costs to do so.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:47 PM   #20
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And looks like you need to decide where you want to keep the boat and then just pay what it costs to do so.
Well there are two marinas that I like one in NY and the other in Vermont, both on Lake Champlain.. I'll just go where the state taxes are lower.
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