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Old 07-30-2018, 09:26 AM   #41
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If I, as the owner, sell my boat or car to you as a private individual, there is no sales tax. exemption from paying sales tax.
There is in every state I have ever lived in...try and register it without paying sales/use tax.

No wonder you think your boat doesn't need to be registered.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:42 AM   #42
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I guess if nothing else this discussion illustrates how many possible combinations of situations there can be, and that it can't be reduced down to one statement or rule. Considerations are:


1) State of documentation port


2) State of residency, and their rules



3) State where boat is "principally operated", if any, and their rules



4) State you are currently in, and their rules



5) How long you have been in the current state


6) How much sales/use tax you have already paid to some state, somewhere, at some time.


7) Possession of a current registration is some state.


8) probably a bunch more that I haven't thought about.


Assuming one complies with all the regs, that's still a lot of combinations that make up a particular person's situation.


For example, I don't have any location where I "principally operate". So I choose to use my documentation port state, and comply with their rules. It is also my state of residency. My tender is registered there, but my boat is not because they do not register documented boats. My boat has never been in that state, but neither has it ever been in any other state long enough to trigger registration requirements. So of the states to pick from, my "home port" state is the most compelling, and it doesn't require any extra explanation when asked.
Stop using "home port" as just a term you have created. It's only on documentation and irrelevant to the rest of this. MA is important to you, only because it's your state of residency (it's your legal home) and it becomes the registration default since you don't meet the 60 or 90 day rule anywhere else. But it's not compelling because it's the home port on your documentation, it's compelling because it's your state of residency. Now I imagine that's then why you put it on your documentation.

We've been through a lot of interesting circumstances. Pick one boat, purchased in Washington, from a Washington builder. Documented. Registered in FL a year before ever reaching FL, but because that would be where we kept it. So, had to convince WA no sales tax or property tax and not overstay our 60 days there. Next was the fact it was in California on January 1, tax appraisal day. We filed with San Diego evidence that California was not the principle state of use and just passing through with dates of arrival and departure and we were exempted. Then it went through many countries and states before ever reaching FL but we'd paid FL use tax in advance and registered it there in advance. Since then, it has set in RI, MA and NY as well as Cayman Islands for extended periods but never long enough to kick any requirements off. We once were asked in NYC as it had been at the same marina earlier but we showed every where outside the state it had traveled in the interim.

Number 1 above, state of documentation "home port" is irrelevant to all registration discussions. The USCG only uses a home port for the purpose of identification to try to distinguish between dozens of boats with the same name. It serves no other purpose.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:10 PM   #43
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If your documented in state x and travel to state y. Why do you need registration in either state. Is there a law that says you must be registrated in at least one state. Who' law fed or state
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:41 PM   #44
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If your documented in state x and travel to state y. Why do you need registration in either state. Is there a law that says you must be registrated in at least one state. Who' law fed or state

You arenít documented in a state, you are documented by the USCG at the federal level. A state has the ability to collect sales/use tax and property tax if you are in that state. So if you are in state x long enough to trigger their particular laws, then you may have to register the boat in that state and pay whatever taxes they levy in the process. If you then travel to state y you have to comply with their laws. Most of the time, the states recognize that a boat is a moving object and allow you to pass through IF you have complied with all the requirements of your resident state.

It is the same with a car. Unless you display proper and current plates you will be stopped when you drive through any state. If you donít, you will be required to register that vehicle or risk the state impounding it until they get it sorted. States are also jealous of folks who live in their state yet try to register their cars in a cheap state. It is the same with a boat.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:48 PM   #45
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You can be documented and not registered because you keep your boat (not reside) in a state that doesn't require it.

After so many days in a state that does require registration, you will certainly be required to by that state....and if you arrive from a state with no registration you may be required to immediately register and prove any taxes have been paid on the boat.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:57 PM   #46
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There can be an exemption for sales/use tax. California (surprisingly) is one of those states. If the boat is delivered outside of the state, and you can prove 180 days use out of the first 360 were out of the state, you are presumed not to have purchased it for use in California and are exempt from state sales/use tax. You must apply for this exemption, and it must be granted. After that, the exemption is permanent, even if you later bring the boat into California long term.

One problem with this is many (most?) states that collect use tax will give credit for sales/use tax paid in another state. If you've paid nothing in California, and are keeping the boat in Washington for example, after 60 days you will owe the entire Washington state sales tax, even if you intend to depart on day 61.

While the CG listed home port may be irrelevant, it may well trigger a tax demand letter from the jurisdiction at the home port - it certainly did in my case, even though the boat (10 years on) has never been there.

You must keep in mind, tax legislation is all about revenue generation, 'fairness' is simply window dressing to try to make it palatable.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:14 PM   #47
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If your documented in state x and travel to state y. Why do you need registration in either state. Is there a law that says you must be registrated in at least one state. Who' law fed or state
As stated, documentation has nothing to do with a state. As to requiring registration in at least one state, not if you only boat in a state not requiring it. However, most states do require it and the period of boating without it only applies if you're registered elsewhere. So if state x doesn't require registration and you travel to state y, you'll be required to register immediately in most cases. The 60 and 90 day periods generally apply only to registered boats.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:33 PM   #48
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In 2002 we bought a boat in Washington state. We kept it there until we ran it down to California. We were below the Washington state time limit and above the California time limit of 90 days (at that time it was 90 days). We did not have to pay Washington tax since we were moving it to California and did not have to pay California tax since we were outside the 90 day limit. We never had to pay sales tax on that boat. California tax authorities did make us prove that we kept the boat out of the state and used it for the 90 days. We home ported it in Tucson, Arizona since we lived there. Then Arizona tried to get sales tax from us. We had to prove that we kept it in California and it had never been in Arizona. It all worked out ok but now I donít know if it would work or not.
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:12 AM   #49
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Does this discussion mean "USA", should really be only be "SA"?
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:01 AM   #50
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Does this discussion mean "USA", should really be only be "SA"?


Possibly, but you know Trawler Forum. These guys could make boiling water complicated. (and find a way to argue about it)
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:07 PM   #51
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My understanding is that the most important point about state registration is to be able to show that sales tax was paid when the boat was bought. This is why I keep a copy of the sales tax receipt with my boat documents.

I understand that a boater who got his boat through a private sale, when stopped by a state LEO was asked to prove that the sales tax on the boat was paid. Since he could not prove it, the state impound the boat until he paid the tax to that state in accordance with their assessed value. Sales tax is usually big bucks when compared with other potential costs in these situations.

Moral of the story: Always carry a sales-tax paid receipt with your boat documents.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:09 PM   #52
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My understanding is that the most important point about state registration is to be able to show that sales tax was paid when the boat was bought. This is why I keep a copy of the sales tax receipt with my boat documents.

I understand that a boater who got his boat through a private sale, when stopped by a state LEO was asked to prove that the sales tax on the boat was paid. Since he could not prove it, the state impound the boat until he paid the tax to that state in accordance with their assessed value. Sales tax is usually big bucks when compared with other potential costs in these situations.

Moral of the story: Always carry a sales-tax paid receipt with your boat documents.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:39 PM   #53
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I understand that a boater who got his boat through a private sale, when stopped by a state LEO was asked to prove that the sales tax on the boat was paid. Since he could not prove it, the state impound the boat until he paid the tax to that state in accordance with their assessed value.
Just tell 'em you bought it in Oregon or RI or any other state with no sales tax. Therefore the tax was fully paid.

Of course, it isn't that simple. Many states will give you credit for tax paid in another state (though this makes no sense at all). So if from Oregon, or given The California exemption, you're still on the hook as far as they are concerned. I note that if you bought in a 10% jurisdiction and enter an 8% jurisdiction, they don't offer a refund.....
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Old 08-03-2018, 04:48 PM   #54
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Don't need a lawyer to know what you say doesn't float. Rules are very specific. You keep the boat in FL and are required to register it in Florida and have a decal. Furthermore, you're also required to register your dinghy in FL and have numbers on it. Documented boats are still registered in most states. You home port has absolutely nothing to do with where it must be registered.
You are absolutely correct with one caveat! If the dingy does not have any sort of mechanical propulsion, either electric or internal combustion, it does not need to be registered! Only thisexwith some sort of motor need registration in Florida!
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:02 PM   #55
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You cannot have a motor of any type on the dink in Florida and not register it.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:07 PM   #56
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You are absolutely correct with one caveat! If the dingy does not have any sort of mechanical propulsion, either electric or internal combustion, it does not need to be registered! Only thisexwith some sort of motor need registration in Florida!
Yes, if you use oars you're ok. Don't think that applies to many here but might to some. Doesn't apply to the person I was responding to.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:27 PM   #57
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Registration lettering on the hull does not have to look bad.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:17 PM   #58
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Keep it Documented

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I would leave it documented. For the sake of $26/year your going to have undisputed chain of ownership and lien status.....Not so with state registered vessels. I would question a vessel that was previously documented, removed from doc and then appears in federal documentation again right before a sale. UCC filing against it? Maybe, maybe not... Continuous Documentation disarms any question about ownership and liens. Why raise a potential flag for lenders,Doc companies or potential buyers? $26/year isn't worth it IMHO only.
I couldn't agree more. For all of the reasons you noted.
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