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Old 01-23-2014, 06:09 PM   #1
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Another tax question (sort of)

I guess a little background is in order first. My wife and I plan to retire this year and sell off everything. We will be cruising full time for a couple of years before deciding on a land base somewhere in warmer climes. We're both getting tired of these polar vortexes (vortices?) We will be doing the loop slowly, north in the summer south in the winter...farther north the next year etc.

My plan has been to use the St. Brendan's Isle mail service to establish some sort of residency. Florida seemed a good choice with no state income tax. The problem is our boat is currently registered in KY. as they have no sales tax requirement. In reading an earlier post and the state of FL tax page I assume I will be responsible to register the boat and pay the full tax the moment we reach Florida in the boat. Not a huge amount or a real turn off but something I'd like to avoid if possible.

I guess the real question here is, does anyone know of another similar mail service that does the same thing as St. B's that's not in Florida? A service somewhere land-locked maybe? If the state has an income tax we may be better to stick with FL and take the hit once. I've been looking on the web without much luck.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:59 PM   #2
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I guess a little background is in order first. My wife and I plan to retire this year and sell off everything. We will be cruising full time for a couple of years before deciding on a land base somewhere in warmer climes. We're both getting tired of these polar vortexes (vortices?) We will be doing the loop slowly, north in the summer south in the winter...farther north the next year etc.

My plan has been to use the St. Brendan's Isle mail service to establish some sort of residency. Florida seemed a good choice with no state income tax. The problem is our boat is currently registered in KY. as they have no sales tax requirement. In reading an earlier post and the state of FL tax page I assume I will be responsible to register the boat and pay the full tax the moment we reach Florida in the boat. Not a huge amount or a real turn off but something I'd like to avoid if possible.

I guess the real question here is, does anyone know of another similar mail service that does the same thing as St. B's that's not in Florida? A service somewhere land-locked maybe? If the state has an income tax we may be better to stick with FL and take the hit once. I've been looking on the web without much luck.
You can bring your boat into Florida, register it and pay no sales tax. It won't even be mentioned. I have a link on my site to an excellent Documentation service that can handle it all for you. It's a non-issue. Plus, I would like to repeat, that due to budget cuts there are NO (none, zip, nada) Tax Agents out in the field looking for scofflaws. Once upon a time they would go audit Marina contracts looking for boats, walked docks, etc., but now they even reassigned those who used to do that -into doing other work-indoors. Makes no sense, but that's the facts. Even if somebody "dropped a dime" on a flagrant scofflaw (like signed a 90 day affidavit of being out-of-State resident, then took the boat direct to their Florida home) there's nobody in the State to do anything about it. The tax agents aren't even allowed access to the Internet to catch all the unlicensed dealers selling boats and cars on Ebay and Craigs list and even BRAGGING of "thousands sold", yet collecting no sales tax OR giving any affidavits or paperwork. It's insane, but true. You seen our Governor? Come on down!! We like Kentucky folks!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:04 PM   #3
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I am on my phone, and others will explain further, but you will not owe sales tax on your boat only the yearly registration fee ( less then 300 dollars). You are not a state resident and have owned your boat for several years without the intension of bringing into the state correct? Did you pay sales tax in another state?

From my phone hope not to many errors.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
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You can bring your boat into Florida, register it and pay no sales tax. It won't even be mentioned. I have a link on my site to an excellent Documentation service that can handle it all for you. It's a non-issue. Plus, I would like to repeat, that due to budget cuts there are NO (none, zip, nada) Tax Agents out in the field looking for scofflaws. Once upon a time they would go audit Marina contracts looking for boats, walked docks, etc., but now they even reassigned those who used to do that -into doing other work-indoors. Makes no sense, but that's the facts. Even if somebody "dropped a dime" on a flagrant scofflaw (like signed a 90 day affidavit of being out-of-State resident, then took the boat direct to their Florida home) there's nobody in the State to do anything about it. The tax agents aren't even allowed access to the Internet to catch all the unlicensed dealers selling boats and cars on Ebay and Craigs list and even BRAGGING of "thousands sold", yet collecting no sales tax OR giving any affidavits or paperwork. It's insane, but true. You seen our Governor? Come on down!! We like Kentucky folks!!
I find this curious, why would a government during tough times prevent the collection of tax's? Particularly "low hanging fruit" taxes.

Do you have any factual back-up to add to these statements?

As a business owner in the state I can attest to the fact that tax enforcement regarding business taxes is up, in fact audits are at an all time high according to my accountant. Strange that they would stop worrying about enforcement of sales tax's regarding purchases.

Please direct me to some resources or provide some evidence to your claims, I would not want anyone getting into financial trouble regarding taxes.

But if there is no one watching the hen house, well that's news to me.

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Old 01-23-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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I'm with st Brendans and live aboard, currently in marathon. I registered my boat last week and was told if i owned the boat more than 6 months no tax was due. Also my albin is 30 years old therefore an antique, $11/yr registration.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:45 PM   #6
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Use tax and surtax are not due on boats brought to Florida if you meet
all
of the following conditions:

You own the boat 6 months or longer, and

You have shown no intent to use the boat in Florida at or before the time of purchase, and

The boat has been in use 6 months or longer within the taxing jurisdiction of another state, U.S.
territory, or the District of Columbia. Time spent in foreign waters does not count as part of the
6-month period


http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/current/gt800005.pdf
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:56 PM   #7
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pilothouse king wrote:

" Even if somebody "dropped a dime" on a flagrant scofflaw (like signed a 90 day affidavit of being out-of-State resident, then took the boat direct to their Florida home) there's nobody in the State to do anything about it."


I have bought 2 boats under this. In both cases I was required to send back to Tallahassee copies of marina and fuel bills with the boat documentation number on them proving I had left the state in a timely fashion. They also notified my home state of the purchase. I always complied completely. I have no idea what would have happened if I didn't, but would face a very stiff penalty if caught.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the quick replies. The following is the part of the form that made me think it would affect us.

Under most conditions, use tax and surtax are due on boats brought into Florida within 6 months from the
date of purchase. However, use tax may be due upon importation into Florida, under either of the following
conditions:
• The boat belongs to a Florida resident; or
• The boat belongs to a corporation for the use of a corporate officer or director who is a Florida
resident or who owns, controls, or manages a dwelling in Florida.

If we use St. Brendan's and therefore become Florida "residents" that line said nothing about a longer than 6 month ownership waiver.

Sounds like Meridian had no issue though. I hope to be down in the Keys in a few weeks for a brief thaw out. Maybe I'll try to find a BMV and ask a few questions.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:24 PM   #9
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The word "may" is problematic in case law.

I encourage you to get real counsel and not rely on me or another internet "expert" The advice is generally worth what you pay for it.


Good luck and welcome, if you get to the east coast I would love to buy you a beverage of your choice.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:29 PM   #10
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This is confusing. I am considering buying a 100k plus boat in Florida from a private party, no broker. I live in Georgia. Its my understanding if I buy the boat from an individual either directly or through a broker, it will not generate a sales tax bill. However if I buy it through a " dealer" who has the boat in inventory, and the boat is titled to them, the dealer has to report the sale to Tallahassee, who then reports it to Georgia, and I will get a 7% sales tax bill. I am just trying to confirm this. Yet when I try to get a straight answer from the Georgia Department of Revenue, and navigate through the phone options to a human, (3 times with a heavy accent) they dont seem to know what i am talking about.
Why is this so hard!!! I get the advalorum tax, i am asking about sales tax. Internet searches just add to the confusion.

Frustrated in Savannah
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:44 PM   #11
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You need a leaving Fl. sticker, it gives you so many days to leave Florida without owing state sales tax. You must not be a Fl. resident to qualify. You then take what ever action in Ga. that you feel comfortable with.

You must leave Fl within the allocated time however there is a safe harbor prevision for emergency service work needed for safe transit.


http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/tips/pdf/tip09a01-05.pdf
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:05 PM   #12
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"You then take what ever action in Ga. that you feel comfortable with. "

Thanks Scott, I appreciate your response. I am not concerned with Florida sales tax. I am concerned with Georgia sales tax. I have no idea what you mean by "taking action I am comfortable with". Can you explain?
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:15 PM   #13
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pilothouse king wrote:

" Even if somebody "dropped a dime" on a flagrant scofflaw (like signed a 90 day affidavit of being out-of-State resident, then took the boat direct to their Florida home) there's nobody in the State to do anything about it."


I have bought 2 boats under this. In both cases I was required to send back to Tallahassee copies of marina and fuel bills with the boat documentation number on them proving I had left the state in a timely fashion. They also notified my home state of the purchase. I always complied completely. I have no idea what would have happened if I didn't, but would face a very stiff penalty if caught.
Yes, there's one guy up in Tallahassee that never leaves his office- that checks that paperwork with a fine tooth comb, but if you didn't do it at all, there's NO ONE checking to see. If you hadn't of done this and I knew about it and you took the boat to your house in Florida (which according to the law-you can't receive an affidavit) without doing anything, and I wanted to report you- there's no longer anybody in the Boat Enforcement Office who could do anything about it.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:16 PM   #14
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My guess is that Ga. will require you to pay the sales tax on your purchase. It is up to you to comply or not, your comfort level regarding tax evasion will be your guide.

I am a fool, but I sleep at night. I paid my state taxes following my private purchase of Firefly from an out of state.

I was told the only sure things in life are death and taxes, or was that Texas, oh well in any event I am covered.

Google "paying boat sales tax in Georgia"
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:20 PM   #15
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Yes, there's one guy up in Tallahassee that never leaves his office- that checks that paperwork with a fine tooth comb, but if you didn't do it at all, there's NO ONE checking to see. If you hadn't of done this and I knew about it and you took the boat to your house in Florida (which according to the law-you can't receive an affidavit) without doing anything, and I wanted to report you- there's no longer anybody in the Boat Enforcement Office who could do anything about it.

Sorry I don't buy this.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:21 PM   #16
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This is confusing. I am considering buying a 100k plus boat in Florida from a private party, no broker. I live in Georgia. Its my understanding if I buy the boat from an individual either directly or through a broker, it will not generate a sales tax bill. However if I buy it through a " dealer" who has the boat in inventory, and the boat is titled to them, the dealer has to report the sale to Tallahassee, who then reports it to Georgia, and I will get a 7% sales tax bill. I am just trying to confirm this. Yet when I try to get a straight answer from the Georgia Department of Revenue, and navigate through the phone options to a human, (3 times with a heavy accent) they dont seem to know what i am talking about.
Why is this so hard!!! I get the advalorum tax, i am asking about sales tax. Internet searches just add to the confusion.

Frustrated in Savannah
The LAW say's that IF you buy a boat from a private individual-that tax is immediately due with no exemption, but what I'm telling you is that there's nobody enforcing this- much to my frustration as a licensed broker! There are people who come down here every "season" buy and sell boats, or act as Brokers who aren't licensed with the State and not only are they selling these vehicles and vessels without collecting any sales tax OR giving you any affidavits, they're all quite bold about it- even advertising their success on their Ebay ads. The Florida Dept of Revenue workers are not allowed access to the Internet while at work, so they can't see them-is their response. After they leave the office at 4pm, they don't care. It's quite frustrating as we Floridians know we garner all our revenue from Sales Tax, having no State Income Tax. One would THINK the Governor would care, but he doesn't. The Dept of Revenue executives have tried to make the point, I've written letters too. NO reply-other than a boiler plate response of "thank you for your communication, the -yadda yadda yadda "
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:23 PM   #17
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Sorry I don't buy this.
Too bad. lol Prove me wrong. Tomorrow call up the Dept of Revenue Boat Enforcement Division (good luck) and tell them you would like to report a neighbor of yours who just bought a million dollar yacht, and brought it to his Florida home, and he say's he didn't pay any sales tax, nor does he have a Tax exemption decal. You tell me what they say. THE phone number for the one guy (John Cacciatore) who combs through paperwork you send- is 850-617-8594. Good luck on getting through. And when you do-ask him if he ever leaves his office. lol.

What do I know, I'm only in the business 40 years, owning my Brokerage for 30 and have these people's number on my cell phone. lol
Call me on the phone tomorrow and I'll give you the cell phone number of the "head of boat enforcement division"-In quotation marks because it doesn't exist anymore. She's as frustrated as anybody, but is always glad to help!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
pilothouse king wrote:

" Even if somebody "dropped a dime" on a flagrant scofflaw (like signed a 90 day affidavit of being out-of-State resident, then took the boat direct to their Florida home) there's nobody in the State to do anything about it."


I have bought 2 boats under this. In both cases I was required to send back to Tallahassee copies of marina and fuel bills with the boat documentation number on them proving I had left the state in a timely fashion. They also notified my home state of the purchase. I always complied completely. I have no idea what would have happened if I didn't, but would face a very stiff penalty if caught.
Nothing would happened! People do it all the time. Toothless toy poodles is what they've become. Thank Governor Scott for this. The ex-head of the division Charles Martin resigned because when he pushed a fellow over this issue, (he had bought a Bayliner 5288 and took it to his house in Lighthouse Point-yet signed an affidavit that he owned no property, was no officer in Florida corporation etc,= a Boat Enforcement agent saw the expired decal on the boat, and they made a case) -this fellow, whom I know- had HIS attorney send Mr. Martin a letter insisting the onus was NOT on his client to prove it had left, that it was the States to prove it hadn't, and if he insisted upon this he would personally take Mr. Martin to court for harassment.. Mr. Martin told ME "I'm a State employee, and can't afford to be fighting lawsuits, I'm retiring"-and did! Now years afterwards I had the chance to sell the boat again, and not wanting my clients to get caught up in any unfinished business-I called them and asked about the boat-"We've closed our files on it-do as you wish".
And I'm talking back when they DID have Enforcement Units going to Marina's, riding in boats, etc.
Here's another true story from the late 90's. Out of the blue I received a letter from the Dept of Revenue asking a question about a boat I had sold years later. I didn't know what they were talking about. He sent over a Sales Tax Affidavit with my Brokerage, My tax number and a forged signature of mine on it. I knew NOTHING about the deal- turned out a scumbag Broker who was with Koch Newton and Partners sold a 60' Technomarine to a buyer whom I had brought to his office, and after I left they connocted up a plan, and paperwork that this Ft. Lauderdale buyer had bought the boat from me-and they had taken it to the Bahamas for the closing-and that I was even on the boat(!!) I would had LOVED TO HAD MADE A NICKEL on that deal-but it was all behind my back- when in deposition (I went ballistic on this as forgery is a pretty serious crime in my book when I filed charges against this Broker with the Yacht and Ship Licensing bureau here, AND with the Dept of Revenue) and learned that in reality this broker had physically just driven the boat from their office on Las Olas to the owners house up the River.
You know what happened?
A. Florida Yacht and Ship declared that ONLY a member of the public could make a charge against a Broker for malfeasance, so therefore nothing would be done.
B. The Dept of Revenue said "eh, it was years ago, they just came up with a Customs Clearance (dated much later from the event), that's good with us". C. Ft. Lauderdale Police said "It's a civil matter".
D. I told him back in 98- "If Bin Laden had a Yacht Broker, you would be him".
Just googled him up and :"Worked extensively in the USA as Yacht Broker from 1996 with Koch Newton and 2001-2007 worked directly under Merle Wood.
2007 -2011 open the Brokerage Division of Art Marine the Azimut -Benetti Director for the Middle East.
Was voted Middle Eastern Yacht Broker of the year by Arabian Yachting Magazine 2011.
Currently residing in South East Asia consulting for various companies who wish to penetrate into the Asian market."
I don't believe a WORD. A worldwide hustler! I've heard there's a bounty on him by others he's ripped off. No physical address of course.

What REALLY happened was that this buyer was likely a really rich guy. I was surprised they shut it down so quickly with such hard evidence. We have a saying here "he with the most lawyers always wins". (why you rarely can beat the Feds!)

There- that's the reality of life in the big city.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SCOTTEDAVIS View Post
I find this curious, why would a government during tough times prevent the collection of tax's? Particularly "low hanging fruit" taxes.

Do you have any factual back-up to add to these statements?

As a business owner in the state I can attest to the fact that tax enforcement regarding business taxes is up, in fact audits are at an all time high according to my accountant. Strange that they would stop worrying about enforcement of sales tax's regarding purchases.

Please direct me to some resources or provide some evidence to your claims, I would not want anyone getting into financial trouble regarding taxes.

But if there is no one watching the hen house, well that's news to me.

Regards
I agree: It makes NO SENSE!! If only they allowed Enforcement people to go online and see. Insane isn't it? It doesn't get any easier than when they're bragging about it. "thousands of cars sold-not a dealer" say's one guy who sells cars. "selling for a friend" is another one. Write and call the Governor. I have. Good luck.
They've reassigned all the Boat Enforcement people into now doing business audits. No more Boat riding, walking docks, etc. In office only. They've got John Cacciatore up in Tallahassee combing through paperwork of those who comply-but chase nobody who doesn't bother. They ONLY know what you tell them. They'll be the first to tell you this is true.
BTW- I know BIG business's here in Miami that only accept payments in cash, and brag that they don't pay the State anything and haven't -EVER. Pretty amazing to me.

Not as profitable by any means! The ex-head said she used to bring in $300k-400k in revenue annually from boat enforcement, but now would be lucky to bring in her salary. Frustrating for us all. I'm a native Floridian and am pissed when carpetbaggers come here and use our facilities, and don't contribute!!!

Yes- my 30 years of owning a Brokerage in Miami and much personal experience with the Dept of Revenue, and having the "head of Boat Enforcement" on my cell phone speed dial.

It's not news to those scofflaws by any means. You've heard of ID theft haven't you? It's quite illegal, but if the bad guys can pound the IRS out of tax refunds from 1.5 million people (including me!!) then be assured sales tax is at the bottom of criminals list of concerns. Just go on Ebay and Craigs list and see them all advertising Boats and Cars for sale in Florida, and ask them if they collect sales tax, or give affidavits.

You need any other "news"?
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:01 PM   #20
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The word "may" is problematic in case law.

I encourage you to get real counsel and not rely on me or another internet "expert" The advice is generally worth what you pay for it
As I stated I HAVE a link on my site to an expert under "yacht registry". I've been doing this for 40 years. You?
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