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Old 02-15-2011, 02:45 PM   #1
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Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Are non-resident boaters liable for taxes in Washington, California or Florida, if they store their boats "on the hard" over the winter, and are in these states waters less than 60 days? Thanks for any inputs in advance.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

If a boat lives in Washington for more 6 months or longer in a given year*it must be registered with the state and the annual registration fee paid and the registration sticker afixed to the boat in the "proper" manner. It doesn't matter where the owner lives. If the boat is stored in your backyard you probably don't need to register the boat until you intend to actually use it. If it's stored serviceable in a boatyard, I don't know how that works. Since very few people do this here since boats can be used year round I've never had occasion to learn what the registration rules are in this case.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 05:36:42 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Quote:
LadyMJ wrote:

Are non-resident boaters liable for taxes in Washington, California or Florida, if they store their boats "on the hard" over the winter, and are in these states waters less than 60 days? Thanks for any inputs in advance.
All I can say about this is that*in CA, is if the boat is in a marina on 12/31 then the*marina reports that to the "authorities" and they will come looking for you to pay property taxes.* So to Marin's point, I think it would depend WHERE on the hard you are, somewhere someone will be sending in a list or not??

*
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

A quick search shows that the boat can only be on the waters of the state in WA for 60 days, with an additional 60 day extension prior to being registered in WA state. It says nothing about storing it off of the water.

http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistr...isterboat.html

Visiting Washington State
Visits of 60 days or less
You dont need a permit to be on Washington waters for up to 60 days, as long as your boat meets one of the following requirements:

It is currently registered in another state.
It has a current U.S. Coast Guard Documentation Paper.
Visits longer than 60 days
If youll be on Washington waters for more than 60 days, you must apply for a permit on or before the 60th day of your visit.

To apply for a permit, visit any vehicle/boat licensing office and bring along:

Your unexpired state boat registration.
Identification from your state.
You may renew the permit once for an additional 60 days. When the renewed permit expires, you must either register your boat in Washington State or remove your boat from Washington waters.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Regarding the six month deal I mentioned earlier for Washington, for the first two winters we had our GB we subleased a slip in Bellingham from a fellow who moved his boat to Sidney, BC for six months and a day every winter. He did this, he told us, to avoid paying any Washington State fees. He himself had a residence in Oregon. I understand the 60-day requirement Keith outlined above, but if that's the case, what was this fellow we sublet from avoiding by keeping his boat in Washington less than six months (by one day) every year? He implied the saving was well worth the hassle of moving the boat and then bringing it back.

As I recall, his boat did not have an annual*Washington State registration sticker on it.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 06:42:52 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

First 60 days is free, no permit needed. For the next 60 days a permit must be purchased. One 60 day extension of the permit is allowed, for a total of 180 days.

Washington realized they were loosing boat business to Canada, so they came up with a way for owners to keep out-of-state boats in WA over the winter.

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Old 02-16-2011, 07:22 AM   #7
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

If you are considering take no prisoners WA, consider BC too where no taxes for US flagged vessels apply if your boat is there to "get worked on." Oregon is a great refuge from WA for many.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #8
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Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Thanks for the numerous inputs! Still wonder if "on the hard" makes any difference, i.e., would make it worthwhile for us "out of state" boaters? We've gone to Alaska 3 times and departing in late April and coming back in September means we've exceeded our 180 days!! That's why we are concerned!

-- Edited by LadyMJ on Wednesday 16th of February 2011 01:38:58 PM
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #9
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

A county auditors office could answer the question definitively, but I know you don't have to register a car that isn't on the road. It can sit in your garage for years with no penalty. The website I noted previously specifically says "on the waters". I think for you the real key is that it is properly registered in your home state. Registration in WA state is not a cheap proposition so you want to ask someone in authority to be sure.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

In BC, a US boat can only stay if it is here for a vacation, or to get some work done, in a relatively short period of time. If you moor it here, you are deemed to be importing it, and you will pay. Canadian citizens can bring a US vessel in "in bond" for a while, for vacation or for work done, but have to prove that it left again, or pay. The import duty depends on where it was built. so if built in the US, free trade gets it in for HST (12% in BC, 5% in Alberta). If built somewhere that doesn't have free trade, add 6.1% (usually). Licensing is free. Registering is a few hundred $. (worth it too).
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:10 PM   #11
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Quote:
LadyMJ wrote:

Thanks for the numerous inputs! Still wonder if "on the hard" makes any difference, i.e., would make it worthwhile for us "out of state" boaters? We've gone to Alaska 3 times and departing in late April and coming back in September means we've exceeded our 180 days!! That's why we are concerned!

-- Edited by LadyMJ on Wednesday 16th of February 2011 01:38:58 PM
On the hard makes no difference.* The big problem is once you have exceeded the six month cruising permit (by even one day), you become liable for sales tax on the boat.* If you have not paid sales tax on your boat to the state of Washington, and they catch you, you are liable for the full amount you would have paid, had you bought the boat in Washington, plus penalties which can be huge.* You do get credit if you paid tax in another state, but if the tax rate was less than Washington's, you owe the difference.* This is an issue I have dealt with extensively, and I highly recommend you check the State of Washington's Department of Revenue's web site for more info.* You can also call them anonymously, and tell them of your situation.* They will give you an opinion, but the only sure fire legally binding way to find out is to ask for a tax ruling, based on your particular unique situation.* Making a mistake here can be very expensive.* There is also a new law allowing you to extend your stay to one year, but you must then leave the state for a period of three years.* You must also renew your permits prior to them expiring.* By the way, the USCG is now checking boats for compliance with Washington tax laws, so if you get boarded and are out of compliance, your busted and can expect a letter from the tax people. Ask Delfin, it happened to him...............................Arctic Traveller

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:15 PM   #12
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Quote:
koliver wrote:

In BC, a US boat can only stay if it is here for a vacation, or to get some work done, in a relatively short period of time. If you moor it here, you are deemed to be importing it, and you will pay.
As it was explained to me by the tax folks in B.C. when I had a large yacht in Sidney, you can not "store" a US boat in Canada tax free, but if you are using it on a regular basis your ok. The key was not to use the words store or lay-up. Again, a call to the folks at the tax office is the best bet..............Arctic Traveller

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:16 PM   #13
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Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

My understanding is that in the state of Maryland if you boat is on the hard, disabled, and not cruise ready the tme does not count in the state.* Anyone have different information on this?* The language in the law is a little difficult.* If you are in the state cruise ready for 1 day over 6 months you may be taxed.* If you are in the state cruise ready for more of the year than any other state, you may be taxed.* It seems a little tricky to deal with.

Here is a quote from the statute.

used or to be used most during a calendar year.
<font face="Times New Roman"></font>(o) Title tax.- "Title tax" means the tax imposed under
' 8-716 of this subtitle.(p) Use.- "Use" means to operate, navigate, or employ a vessel. A vessel is in use whenever it is
upon the water, whether it is moving, anchored, or tied up to any manner of dock or buoy. A
vessel is also in use if it is kept in any structure in readiness for use.

This seems to me to say that a vessel stored on the hard and not in a "structure" is not considered in use.

Has anyone had experience with this?


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Wednesday 16th of February 2011 11:49:19 PM
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:24 AM   #14
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

"This seems to me to say that a vessel stored on the hard and not in a "structure" is not considered in use."

This concept is so boatyards or repair facilities can have out of state customers , and not have to pay the use tax.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:36 AM   #15
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Koliver*

Thelaw in BC/Canada regarding non Canada vessels staying in Canada is quite clear and in writing. Whether from the US or BVIs, a boat can stay in BC if it is being worked on or stored. The caveat is it must exit Canada and a routine basis, generally every 6 or 12 months. We leave Sidney and clear US Customs at Friday Harbor for lunch or a weekend of fun and frolic with the lively denizens of San* Juan Island. When I return to Canada the Canada Customs people give me a new number which is then placed* on a side window. It works for*us and hundreds of other non-Canada vessels.

For work done in Canada no sales, HST GST etc taxes are paid if you have your vessel under a Work Order and under the eye of a recognized boat yard. Once the work is completed the vessel*must reclear Customs on both sides to begin cruising again. None of this is under the table, I have read the law and keep a copy on the boat. This is very good for BC boat yards and marinas. People are employed, marinas built and non marine goods and services used galore. It really is nice when the C dollar is in the .75 to .85 range where it historically resides.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:54 AM   #16
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RE: Boat Taxes for Non-Residents

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:
It really is nice when the C dollar is in the .75 to .85 range where it historically resides.


__________________________________________________ _________________

Yesterday the Canadian dollar posted at $101.5 US... *so the exchange rate is really working for us.... we are Canadians but keep our boat on the American side of the lake.... cheaper marina rates, fuel and food... and we Canadians are always floored by American cheap prices for alcohol!

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Old 08-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #17
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Has anyone had recent challenges by Canadian Customs officers to storing their boats in Canada? After six years a CBS officer has questioned my tax staus on a US registered vessel stored in Canada.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:47 AM   #18
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Has anyone had recent challenges by Canadian Customs officers to storing their boats in Canada?
Where in Canada? This article reports on recent ramping up of enforcement in the Maritimes: Yahoo News Canada - Latest News & Headlines, but I haven't heard of anything similar on the West coast. Yet.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:21 AM   #19
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Folks, I can speak generally about North Carolina. If your boat is "stored" on the hard, you are subject to county property taxes, which all NC counties collect. The boatyard is required to report on Jan 1 each year, who is in storage. However, if your boat is undergoing maintenance, no taxes are owed. They would rather have the jobs. Sorry that I can't be more specific. George
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:13 AM   #20
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Thanks for the numerous inputs! Still wonder if "on the hard" makes any difference, i.e., would make it worthwhile for us "out of state" boaters?

-- Edited by LadyMJ on Wednesday 16th of February 2011 01:38:58 PM
Back when Bay Pelican was in North American and Maryland had a brand new law taxing out of state boats stored in Maryland I obtained a written opinion from the attorney general of Maryland that exempted Bay Pelican from tax when it was stored in Maryland over the winter. The basis of the exemption, which I would guess, is now generally accepted is that there is a difference between just storing a boat and winter storage. The key issue was whether the boat was winterized and therefore was not ready for use. Remember that there are two or more boats which are stored on the hard (think racks) that are in and out of the water on a regular basis then transient boats that are decommissioned and stored for the winter.

Thus if you are inquiring be sure to ask about whether the tax applies to a transient boat that has been winterized and is not ready for use. You may find that it may be treated as a boat undergoing work. (Has a boat ever been stored for the winter without work being done?)

From the state's standpoint they don't want to lose the jobs created by storing transient boats. This varies of course by state.

Marty
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