As a firm that deals with Florida sales and use tax controversy almost every day of the week, it is not too often that we bump into FL sales and use tax issues that we have not already dealt with.
When you purchase a boat from a licensed dealer in Florida, then the dealer is required to collect sales tax on the whole purchase price of all the tangible personal property being sold to you. If a dealer[2]makes the sale, then tax is due on the cost of the trailer, motor (outboard and inboard), vessel, and accessories.
So, this would leave you to believe that the sales tax rules apply differently depending on whether you purchase the boat from a dealer or from an individual, right?
There is another twist here that keeps this fact pattern interesting, at least from a sales tax professional's point of view. BOAT CAR PLANE DEALERS: FL SALES TAX FORMS, published June 14, 2013, by Jerry Donnini, Esq. WHEN SALES TAX AUDITORS MAY NOT PICK AND CHOOSE RECORDS TO USE, published April 19, 2015, by Joseph C Moffa, CPA, Esq. FL SALES TAX – CASH OR ACCRUAL BASIS, published February 3, 2015, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq.
FLORIDA SALES TAX AUDITS OF CAR DEALERS ON THE RISE, published November 14, 2014, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq. JACKSONVILLE USED CAR DEALER ARRESTED FOR SALES TAX, published December 14, 2014, by James Sutton, CPA, Esq. If a new boat or even a yacht is on your holiday shopping list this year you may want to wait a bit longer before making that purchase. That’s because leaders in Trenton are on the verge of cutting in half the state sales tax levied on boats purchased in New Jersey, as well as setting a maximum amount for how much sales tax can be collected for a noncommercial boat or yacht purchased here. The timing is important because the language in the bill that lawmakers sent to Christie for final consideration last week calls for the sales-tax reductions to go into effect on the first day of the second month following his approval, meaning early 2016 if the governor takes action sometime this month. The tax-policy changes for boat purchases have been proposed as a way to help a local boating industry still struggling to recover from the last recession and Superstorm Sandy. Industry experts say boat registrations have fallen by nearly 100,000 in New Jersey since 2001, and lawmakers have blamed tax reductions in other states that have left New Jersey at a competitive disadvantage.
But liberal groups and others opposed to the proposal say the wealthy would benefit the most from the sales-tax reductions while the state loses much-needed tax revenue. The measure, meanwhile, also represents a rare moment of bipartisan agreement this year between the Democrats who control the state Legislature and Christie.
That common ground could be a good sign moving forward as lawmakers are getting ready to work with the governor on what many expect to be a bipartisan plan to renew the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. The original proposal to cut sales taxes on boat purchases in New Jersey called for a $20,000 cap on the taxes that could be collected on the sale of a noncommercial boat. But Christie, in a conditional veto issued in August, asked lawmakers to also consider cutting the current 7 percent sales tax in half for boat purchases.
Lawmakers went back to work on the measure in September, with the Senate voting overwhelmingly in favor of Christie’s recommendations.
Now, for procedural reasons, the legislation has to go back to Christie one more time for final approval. Despite those upbeat predictions, nonpartisan analysts with the Office of Legislative Services estimated that cutting the tax in half will result in state revenue losses of between $8 million and $12.3 million annually during the first few years after it becomes law. Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal think tank based in Trenton, said the tax breaks make little sense for a state that’s still struggling to come up with enough revenue to fund bigger priorities like transportation, housing and higher education.
The think tank has conducted research indicating the sales-tax reductions would give someone buying a yacht worth $1 million a tax break of $50,000, while someone spending $10,000 would get just $350 in tax relief.
News and commentary about the specialized field of avoiding sales tax on the purchase of aircraft, vessels and vehicles. Aero & Marine Tax Professionals are the pre-eminent experts in helping purchasers of aircraft and vessels to avoid paying sales and use tax in California.
Rob J., who runs a large, state-of-the-art meat processing facility in Vista, California, with markets across the United States and overseas, explains that he ran into trouble with the California Board of Equalization five years after he sold a Mikelson yacht. As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below.

Williams & Smithells Yacht Brokers have been offering yachts for sale in Greece for over 30 years. Vessels over 12m have two options to reduce costs; pay €10 per metre for the month ahead, or be “permanently based” in Greece and obtain a 30% discount from the annual fee. If a receipt can’t be produced on request, the boat can be detained until a full fee has been paid, plus a 100% penalty fee.
3.  A meeting of the Mediterranean section of the Cruising Association on 21 Nov was attended by some 60 memberss. 4.  The CA is working out the most effective way to present these arguments to the authorities.
So when we get a call from a taxpayer that has novel issue, we tend to get a little excited.[1] Just such an issue popped up this week that I thought our readers would enjoy learning about. The DMV is therefore the agency tasked with making sure that all registered vehicles (cars, boats, planes) are properly registered with the state and that sales tax and registration fees have been properly paid.
Therefore, one would logically conclude that the sales tax due would be the same regardless of whether you purchased the vehicle from a dealer or an individual, right? So if you purchase a boat, a motor, a dozen life preservers, a pair of paddles, and other miscellaneous goods that go along with a boat – the licensed dealer is statutorily required to charge sales tax on all these items. You, as the buyer, are required to take the bill of sale down to the DMV office and pay sales tax directly to the DMV. If you purchase something on-line and the seller does not collect sales tax from you, believe it or not, you are supposed to remit the sales tax to the state yourself. There might be another quirk in Florida sales tax law that would exempt your itemized purchases of goods other than the vehicle itself.
If you are purchasing a boat with expensive outboard motors from a non-dealer, then you want to make sure that the outboard motors are separately itemized (with the price) in the bill of sale.
Sutton is a Florida licensed CPA and Attorney and a shareholder in the law firm the Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A.
A purchase from an out of state dealer would change this answer to only allow the DMV to collect sales tax only on the boat AND would require the DMV to give you credit for any sales tax you might have paid the dealer in another state. Chris Christie on those two policy changes -- which he’s previously supported -- could come at any time.
And even as Democrats in the Assembly tried last week to muster up the the first override of a gubernatorial veto in nearly two decades – falling short by a few votes of bypassing Christie’s rejection of a mental-health gun bill – lawmakers from both parties voted unanimously that same day to sign off on the sales-tax reductions for boat purchases.
The Assembly -- which took a long break this summer as all 80 seats in the lower house were up for grabs in the November election -- followed suit last week, voting 64-0-15 in favor of the governor’s changes. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) said the policy changes will put New Jersey’s boat-sales taxes back into competition with states like Delaware, Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The office also projected that the $20,000 will also result in the loss of revenue, although it said that figure couldn’t be accurately calculated.
The organization also determined the changes would directly impact fewer than 1 percent of the state’s residents. They have successfully filed hundreds of tax returns with the California State Board of Equalization. In 2006 we opened highly visible yacht sales office in Lefkas Marina with experienced British representative Stephen McIntosh looking after all your yachting requirements.
It will cover one calender year’s stay, with an option to pay for monthly periods for craft over 12m LOA. The receipt is valid for the whole period of pre-payment, and remains valid if the boat leaves Greek waters and returns later.
When arriving in a port of entry, EU boats obtaining a DEKPA, and non-EU boats obtaining a Transit Log, can pay cash on arrival.  Boats already in Greece on 1 Jan 2014 will need to pay at their local tax office or port authority to remain in Greece.
The proposed law is the result of two years of negotiations between opposing points of view; tourism interests, versus taxation needs.
To keep this in context, two and three years back two previous laws were passed introducing taxes for larger vessels.
Yes Nob Was the transaction part of any terms of employment employment contract or termination agreement?

It involves the interaction of tax laws between the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Revenue. The Florida Department of Revenue will audit the boat dealer and make the dealer liable for the sales tax if such amounts are not collected from you at the time of sale.
However, the DMV is only required to collect sales tax on the vehicle that is required to be registered.
If it also worthy to note that you have some flexibility in allocating the price between the boat and the motors. Williams & Smithells are now the largest British company in Lefkas offering Yacht Sales in Greece. However, in both years, procedures to implement the laws were suspended after very strong objections from influential owners of larger boats.
The most apt response recommended was to seek concessions for categories of sailors most likely to leave Greek waters as a result of this legislation. A small quirk in the law surfaced that has the potential to tax the two transactions differently – specifically for boats with an outboard motor separately listed on the sales invoice. However, the DMV has a slightly more limited scope of what they are required or, in this case, allowed to tax. So, to the DMV, all the other itemized goods you purchased are things they are not authorized to collect tax on. Because you purchased these non-vehicle goods from an individual, there is a rather good chance that seller would not be considered a dealer.
Sutton's primary practice is Florida tax controversy, with an almost exclusive focus on Florida sales and use tax. We are arranging a good translation, and will then ask questions of the Greek authorities to clarify as many remaining uncertainties as we can. The reason is a small quirk in the difference between what is required to be taxed by the law governing DMV versus what is required to be taxed by the law governing Florida Department of Revenue. Therefore, from the DMV's perspective, all the other itemized goods appear to be not subject to sales tax at all.
But the relevance here is that all the non-vehicle itemized items you purchased with the boat are subject to use tax just like your on-line purchases.
Presuming that the seller paid sales tax on this items when they were originally purchased (a requirement for the exemption), the sale of such items to you would be exempt under the isolated or occasional sale exemption. This is because individual sellers of registered vehicles are not required to collect sales tax or register the vehicle for the purchaser. So, for example, if your bill of sale reflects $250,000, but $75,000 is separately itemize for the two 250 horsepower outboard engines on the boat – then the DMV is not going to charge you sales tax on the outboard engines. So there is a high likelihood that the purchase of the other used goods with the boat from a non-dealer would, actually, be exempt from sales tax. Sutton worked for in the State and Local Tax department of one of the Big Five accounting firms for a number of years and has been an adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law since 2002 teaching State and Local Tax and at Boston University College of Law since 2014 teaching Sales and Use Tax. This is because the outboard engine is not considered part of the vehicle required to be registered under the laws governing the DMV.
It is just that the DMV is not the governmental entity tasked with collecting the tax on these other items.
The DMV is only looking at what the DMV is allowed to collect tax on, which is just the vehicle - not everything subject to sales or use tax in Florida. This exemption would NOT be available if you made the purchase from a Florida licensed boat dealer because, by definition, boat dealer sales of boat related items do not qualify for the isolated or occasional sale exemption. The same is not true if the engine is an inboard-outboard or pure inboard, which would be considered part of the boat.
Sutton is a frequent speaker on Florida sales and use taxes for the FICPA, Lorman Education, NBI, and the Florida Society of Accountants.

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