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Old 03-03-2019, 03:35 PM   #81
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Don't most tax dodgers set up a fake corporation in Delaware and register the boat under the phony business? Home port: Dover, Delaware.

I have heard of that !
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:50 PM   #82
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you are entirely correct in that is you are truly traveling then you do not need to register your boat except possibly your home state if it has registration.

You also do not need to pay any tax in any state, but be careful. As you indicated each state has itís own definition of when your boat falls under their rules.

Just be cognizant of these rules and timelines and youíll be good to go.
Ah ! and this brings me to the next curiosity. Is there enough interest out here among us to gather together and publish each states transient rules and regulations all in one spot. All we need is 52 people to pull their state regulation (post the link) and post it on another thread here. Or maybe I'll just do it myself lol.... Could be a useful tool especially for the Loopers which was my reason for bringing up the question.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:03 PM   #83
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California requires numbers on the bow unless CG documented.

The OP can absolutely do what he says, but perhaps not with WA as the home port. Depends on if WA requires registration for vessels never in the state - it seems like they would have a jurisdictional issue if they did. What you tell the coast guard and paint on the transom for you home port is almost without effect or consequence. I've seen 100' boats which claimed landlocked midwestern cities as home port.
And this is exactly where I was hoping someone would go with this conversation. I was told I don't have to pay for the registration until the vessel touches Washington State waters. My though was follow the transient rules of the other states and travel the Great Loop Bahama, Exuma and Canada. Right now the vessel is in Michigan dry storage.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:04 PM   #84
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Ah ! and this brings me to the next curiosity. Is there enough interest out here among us to gather together and publish each states transient rules and regulations all in one spot. All we need is 52 people to pull their state regulation (post the link) and post it on another thread here. Or maybe I'll just do it myself lol.... Could be a useful tool especially for the Loopers which was my reason for bringing up the question.



I think BoatUS already has such a listing.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:12 PM   #85
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How many dollars is this saving?
That would depend on the Vessel and the State or states traveled through.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:24 PM   #86
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"The 0.5% annual tax I think they call a Boat Excise Tax. But on an expensive boat, it's a big annual nut."

Respectfully, I would disagree with this statement.

State and local taxes are revenue collected to give services that constituent want/need. Public needs are based on the thought that folks live in that area. They, unfortunately, don't take into account the very small part of the population that might be transient.

The big sources of revenue are income tax, sales tax, property tax, and personal property tax. If a state doesn't have one of these revenue streams, then the money has to come from another stream. On a $1,000,000 boat, a 0.5% annual tax comes out to $5,000 a year.

The bigger problem is the sales (or use) tax on such a large purchase. Given the large boating industry in the PNW, I am surprised that there is not a cap on the sales tax for boats. Even here in Maryland, beginning last year, there is a cap on taxes paid for the new registration of boats.

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Old 03-03-2019, 04:36 PM   #87
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"The 0.5% annual tax I think they call a Boat Excise Tax. But on an expensive boat, it's a big annual nut."
You are fortunate. The annual tax on boats in California is over two to four times that, depending on the boat's location.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:57 PM   #88
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It sure seems to vary state to state! In NC I think they have assessors that prowl the local marinas and write down the names of the documented boats then look up the owners, then send them a tax bill. Up to the owner to dispute it based on whatever the text is in the law. They found mine (which I built, so had no real paper trail other than USCG doc, transom name and port), but taxes are reasonable so I just pay it.

Since mine arrived without any sale involved, no sales tax, this is just property tax.

The state registered boats I think they look up on their computer databases. They got my old skiff that way.

I have heard of other NC boats making a specific trip to SC and getting dockage and fuel (and a receipt) around Jan 1 and then sending copies of that in as part of a dispute. But I never bothered to flush out the details. Something like if you can prove the boat was not in NC on Jan 1, then you could file a claim to avoid it (???).

My very general understanding is that most states ignore the home port on the documentation and rely more on physical presence. But who knows.

Edit: It is our county that sends the tax bill, not the state, but the county is apparently following state law.

I agree most states ignore the home port on the documentation and rely more on physical presence.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:02 PM   #89
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OK, but for those of us who follow the rules, and the rules say no tax is due, what are you suggesting we do? Should we make a voluntary contribution? If so, to whom, and how much? Or should we all pay each state's sales or use tax when we visit rather than utilize their visitor rules?


So far I don't think anyone has advocated breaking any rules. Examples have been cited of other people who do, but I think we are talking about legal, by the book operation when moving about on an ongoing basis, as many boats do. Regardless of whether you have paid taxes somewhere else or not, or how much you have paid, we all still need to be cognizant of what additional tax liabilities we might incur along the way in our travels. You can still get hit with a big bill even if you have paid somewhere else. Those costs factor into our plans and impact our decisions. We don't just travel with an open wallet. We ask what marinas cost, and consider that when choosing where to stay. Same for fuel. Why is it wrong to do the same when considering how long to stay somewhere if there will be a sudden large bill if you stay too long?
Look, it's clear you made a calculated decision to register your boat on the east coast to avoid paying tax on the west coast where it's cruising. I never said it was illegal...it's simply a running tax dodge. Not much different than an LLC...the John Kerry example. I've been speaking in terms of ethical behavior. You're OK with taking advantage of what other boaters pay to support the marine infrastructure. Keep it moving, avoid tax, sell.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:29 PM   #90
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And this is exactly where I was hoping someone would go with this conversation. I was told I don't have to pay for the registration until the vessel touches Washington State waters. My though was follow the transient rules of the other states and travel the Great Loop Bahama, Exuma and Canada. Right now the vessel is in Michigan dry storage.
If your boat is not registered in any state, it does not meet Michigan requirements. Wouldn't want the DNR to be there for your Spring launch...
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:33 PM   #91
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If your boat is not registered in any state, it does not meet Michigan requirements. Wouldn't want the DNR to be there for your Spring launch...
Hows that it is not in the water It isn't going in the water there
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:09 PM   #92
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Hows that it is not in the water It isn't going in the water there
Prudent if it doesn't have a registration from somewhere. Like Comodave said in post #2 you would be ticketed.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:17 PM   #93
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Look, it's clear you made a calculated decision to register your boat on the east coast to avoid paying tax on the west coast where it's cruising. I never said it was illegal...it's simply a running tax dodge. Not much different than an LLC...the John Kerry example. I've been speaking in terms of ethical behavior. You're OK with taking advantage of what other boaters pay to support the marine infrastructure. Keep it moving, avoid tax, sell.

I don't know about the state that you're registered in. In WA. that up to 10% value of the boat (no cap) is a sales tax goes to the general fund, it supports things like needle exchanges and homeless camps. The annual registration fee which is .05% of your initial price or what the state decides it should of been (always higher) those monies also go in to the general fund and help support illegal immigration (aprox 1.5 to 2.5 billion annually in WA.)

As far as putting a boat in an LLC to avoid tax at least in WA. only benefits the next buyer. Tax is collected on the property placed in the LLC
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:48 PM   #94
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I don't know about the state that you're registered in. In WA. that up to 10% value of the boat (no cap) is a sales tax goes to the general fund, it supports things like needle exchanges and homeless camps. The annual registration fee which is .05% of your initial price or what the state decides it should of been (always higher) those monies also go in to the general fund and help support illegal immigration (aprox 1.5 to 2.5 billion annually in WA.)

As far as putting a boat in an LLC to avoid tax at least in WA. only benefits the next buyer. Tax is collected on the property placed in the LLC
I dare say every state has a marine program that one way or another is funded through taxes and fees. The group 4 and 5 owners on BandB's post look for ways to escape any taxation in any state. That leaves the rest of us paying for their privilege (or cleverness, or independence, or thriftiness if you ask them).

Can't comment on Washington LLC laws. But former Senator John Kerry obviously found a tax advantage in a state other than his own. And then he got caught.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:02 PM   #95
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Look, it's clear you made a calculated decision to register your boat on the east coast to avoid paying tax on the west coast where it's cruising. I never said it was illegal...it's simply a running tax dodge. Not much different than an LLC...the John Kerry example. I've been speaking in terms of ethical behavior. You're OK with taking advantage of what other boaters pay to support the marine infrastructure. Keep it moving, avoid tax, sell.

But the question still stands. Where should I have registered, if not my state of residence, and why there versus some other place? How much should I have paid, and where, to meet your barometer? I lived in New Hampshire for many years and never paid any sales tax or income tax, because there is none. Was it then unethical for me to travel to other states and utilize services as a visitor?
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:53 PM   #96
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I don't know about the state that you're registered in. In WA. that up to 10% value of the boat (no cap) is a sales tax goes to the general fund, it supports things like needle exchanges and homeless camps. The annual registration fee which is .05% of your initial price or what the state decides it should of been (always higher) those monies also go in to the general fund and help support illegal immigration (aprox 1.5 to 2.5 billion annually in WA.)
Well not all of WA. There are a lot of those that live outside King County that would like to put a cap on it. But then again what ever King County wants, King County gets....
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:02 PM   #97
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My registration fee and use taxes go toward State boating/marine programs. Transient boaters take advantage of the infrastructure in my state when they pass through. If they pay their share in another state then that's ethical (never mind that the amount differs from state to state). If a boater consciously plans to circumvent state taxes/fees by altering cruising schedules/locations or uses the LLC trick for the purpose of avoiding taxes, that individual is taking advantage of those who do support the overall boating system/infrastructure.
When a transient boater visits a state they help the economy and citizens of that state by spending money there. Money at marinas, money at fuel docks, money at resturauants, money at boat yards, money spent shoping. That money provides jobs.

I for example will do anything to avoid paying 8-10% of my boats value to the state of Washington, so that I can have the privledge of spending my hard earned money there. It’s simple, Move on, and go spend money in a state that apreciates what I bring to it’s citizens.

If I decide to call Washington home, then paying resident taxes is part of the deal.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:45 PM   #98
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But the question still stands. Where should I have registered, if not my state of residence, and why there versus some other place? How much should I have paid, and where, to meet your barometer? I lived in New Hampshire for many years and never paid any sales tax or income tax, because there is none. Was it then unethical for me to travel to other states and utilize services as a visitor?
Doubtful you were a full time transient when you lived in New Hampshire. You stated in an earlier post, there's nothing stopping you from registering in your home state and paying the tax....and added but why would I do that. Why not? (Rhetorical question) You have to meet your own barometer.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:35 AM   #99
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I just checked my 2018 state of WA registration. I had just bought the boat, so the excise tax will be very accurate. It is 1/2 of 1 percent of the value, which was the purchase price. Today I renewed my registration, and the total registration decreased by $250.

I hope this clears up any confusion!
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:52 AM   #100
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TAX EVASION is a crime.

TAX AVOIDANCE is good citizenship.

"You're OK with taking advantage of what other boaters pay to support the marine infrastructure."

The lies come from the folks that collect "gas or road Taxes" and then pervert the tax cash into "transportation funding ", and we get light rail , buses ,sub$adi$ed commuter trains and unwanted high speed rail, ,that goes nowhere at monster cost..

I would love to learn where boaters payments support the instate "marine infrastructure."
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