Recently a reader sent me some thought-provoking questions regarding registering his newly purchased boat. He’s a Canadian snowbird and is planning to trailer his boat between Florida and Canada. His questions ranged from how to avoid sales tax to which country he should register the boat in. For expert advice, I referred him to the Canadian chapter of the Power Squadron, but from my practical experience I am able to share a few thoughts.
First, trailering the boat out of Florida will not relieve a purchaser from having to pay sales tax. That is an obligation you can’t duck. Perhaps some states may be a percent or so less, but it isn’t worth the effort to obtain that small amount of savings. In addition, sales tax on a large purchase is also deductible on your federal income tax. Boat registration fees are another issue. There may be a difference in the fees from county to county — for instance, DeSoto versus Charlotte — and it may well be worth your while to check this out before registering your boat.
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