Posted by Larry | Posted on 09-15-2012
This article is reprinted from a release on September 11, 2012
NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at http://www.BoatUS.com/pressroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Photo Available at: http://www.BoatUS.com/pressroom/previewImg/hiRes/834.jpg
Photo Caption: BoatUS says boaters should be aware of local taxes when they cruise.
Boaters Overstaying Their Welcome Could Find Themselves in Hot Water with the Tax Man
States Go After Visiting Cruisers
ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 11, 2012 – Staying too long in one place can ruin a good thing. At least that’s the case with boaters making lengthy journeys, who are finding themselves targets of cash-hungry states when they stay too long and are subject to various taxes. But how can boaters prevent overstaying their welcome? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has online state tax information at http://www.BoatUS.com/gov/states that will help keep them on the right side of the law and out of hot water with the taxman.
In most states, a privately-owned recreational boat must be registered in the state where it is principally used, and any sales and use taxes paid to that state. A problem arises when the boat leaves this principal-use state and enters a new one, for a long visit, extended cruise or lengthy repairs. This could include “Snowbirds” – boaters who head south each winter in search of warmer climates.
BoatUS says boaters may be subject to various sales, use, excise, or property taxes when they remain in one location for a consecutive number of days, or over-stay their visit for a certain number of aggregate days per year. This “grace period” is often 60 to 90 days but as little as 30 days in two states (CO, NH). Also, if the principal state’s sales and use tax is not comparable to the tax in the state the boat is visiting, the second state can levy their own tax making the boat owner liable for the difference.
To help boaters understand this issue, BoatUS’ online map at http://www.BoatUS.com/gov/states highlights state sales and property tax rates with links to state tax departments, as well as registration information and “grace periods”.
In the past, BoatUS has heard about tax authorities walking the docks, inspecting marina records and aggressively enforcing tax codes. “We believe boaters should pay their fair share of taxes, and travel to other states with their eyes open about timelines and potential tax assessments,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “Boaters should keep record keeping such as log entries, marina and fuel receipts or repair contracts while traveling. These documents are critical for boaters to keep, and are often the only way to fight an unjust tax bill,” added Podlich.<
The excellent BoatUS listing of state taxes overlooks many important exceptions to these rules, so it pays to do more in-depth research on your particular situation. For example, many states do not require a payment of a use or sales tax if the boat was originally purchased out of state, the owner did not reside in the state at the time of purchase, and the boat has stayed out of state for some period of time. In the case of Florida, if a boat had been owned out of state for a year before being brought into Florida there would be no use or sales tax, though registration rules would obviously apply after 90 days. Unfortunately, all 50 states have different rules on these matters, and it is not always easy to figure them out. In fact, I have found that local tax and law enforcement officials may not always be as familiar with the letter of of the law as they should be, and many forums and web sites spread misinformation. It pays to find the actual statutes in play and make copies of them to prove your case.
180 TAX FREE IN HORRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transients heading south should stay Oct Nov Dec end of year and then it starts over. Jan Feb March. and you head back north April 1. or Plan to stay June to Dec 180 days Jan to June!
Enjoy South Carolina and it’s Southern hospitality!!
North Myrtle Beach, SC
What about the Sojourners Permit in Florida? Many confusing articles have been written about this topic. Supposedly gives you 180 days to stay.