You had excellent ideas and feedback when we were trying to narrow down the type and size of sailboat that would fit our needs and budget. Your presence during the survey, haulout, and sea trial was invaluable. We couldn't have done it without you. THANKS!
~ Todd & Lynn Fulks
I needed advice, handholding, more advice, and yet still more handholding. I was clueless about marine financing, insurance, flagging, and import documentation rules. I thought it was like purchasing a house. Not so. I can honestly say that without your help, guidance, hand holding, daily calls, and e-mails, I would not be a boat owner today.
~ Carter J. Mills
Lagoon 410 S2
They made research and paperwork swift and effortless for me and the monies worked out in my favor.
~ Keith Miller
What in-state and out-of-state boat purchasers need to know.What is Taxable?
A boat that remains in Florida for more than 90 consecutive days or more than 183 days in a one-year period is presumed taxable, unless it qualifies for another exemption.
To report use tax due to the State of Florida on the purchase of a boat, the owner should complete an Ownership Declaration and Sales and Use Tax Report (Form DR-42B). See the back panel for information on obtaining forms.
Use tax is not due on boats brought to Florida if all of the following conditions are met:
A boat may be purchased tax-exempt if it is sold by or through a registered boat dealer or yacht broker to a nonresident who will remove the boat from the state.
The following requirements must be met:
This exemption does not apply to a Florida resident, an entity where the controlling person is a Florida resident, or a corporation where any officers or directors are Florida residents.Foreign Flagged Vessels
Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license to cruise issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Licenses to cruise are available only to boats flagged in countries that have a treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as long as the provisions of the license to cruise are not violated.Boats Imported for Sale
If a boat is imported into Florida for the sole purpose of sale at retail by a boat dealer or yacht broker who is registered with DOR, it will be exempt from use tax. The boat must be under the care, custody, and control of the broker or dealer and no personal use may be made of the boat during its presence in this state. For more information, see Technical Assistance Advisement #03A-051, Importing Boats Into Florida Solely for Sale. This is available in DOR's Tax Law Library.Trade-Ins
Dealers or brokers registered with DOR may allow a credit for a trade-in. The taxable amount is the gross selling price minus the credit allowed for the trade-in.
To qualify for a trade-in credit, the following must apply:
Florida's Safe Harbor Act allows boat owners to bring their vessels into Florida for repair for up to 20 days per calendar year without paying tax on the boat's purchase price, if:
The 20-day time period begins on the day the owner first obtains dockage in this state. If the boat is placed in a qualifying facility for repairs, additions, alterations, refitting, or modifications, the 20-day time period is stopped while the vessel is undergoing repair. Once the repairs are complete, the owner has the balance of the 20-day time period to remove the boat from the state.
Mere storage of a boat in Florida will not qualify for the "safe harbor" exemption. A boat listed for sale, contracted for sale, or sold using a registered boat dealer or yacht broker may qualify for the exemption if sold while in this state under the safe harbor provisions.
Penalty and Interest
Anyone who purchases a boat and obtains a tax exemption under the nonresident removal provisions will be subject to use tax, discretionary sales surtax, interest, and penalties (including a mandatory penalty equal to the tax) if:
A purchaser who attempts to evade tax by giving a fraudulent affidavit is subject to the tax due, interest, and a mandatory 200 percent penalty. The purchaser may also be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
If the boat dealer or yacht broker fails to furnish the required exemption information, the dealer or broker may become subject to tax, interest, and mandatory penalties on each transaction.Inspections and Compliance
Tax compliance is an important aspect of boat ownership because it helps pay for services that benefit all boaters in this state. DOR conducts tax compliance inspections at marinas, repair facilities, and other docking sites on a regular basis. We also use many other sources of information to determine compliance.
Call Taxpayer Services to request a copy of Rule 12A-1.007, Florida Administrative Code, Aircraft, Boats, Mobile Homes, and Motor Vehicles; Rule 12A-1.0641, F.A.C., Sales of Vessels Used in Interstate or Foreign Commerce or for Commercial Fishing Purposes; and Rule 12A-1.071, F.A.C., Rentals, Leases, or License to Use Tangible Personal Property. Tax laws are also available on DOR's Internet site. Look for the Florida Tax Law Library.
Dealers and brokers should read the brochure entitled Sales and Use Tax on Boats - Information for Dealers and Brokers.For Information and Forms
Boat Enforcement Unit
Florida Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 6417
Tallahassee FL 32314-6417
Information and forms are available on our Internet site at www.myflorida.com/dor.To speak with a Department of Revenue representative, call Taxpayer Services, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., ET, at 800-352-3671.
Persons with hearing or speech impairments may call the TDD line at 800-367-8331 or 850-922-1115.To receive forms by mail:
Florida Department of Revenue
168A Blountstown Hwy
Tallahassee FL 32304-2702
These are stand up people, who make a stand up product. I would buy from them again in a heartbeat.
~ Jay Clark, Dolphin 460
I just wanted you to know that your level of service and the high degree of customer satisfaction have made owning my Dolphin a great experience.
~ Daniel Zlotnick, Dolphin