Originally Posted by jtsailjt
On your first point about registering the boat in MA then you have to pay the use tax. Of course you do, IF you keep or register it there right after you buy it.
But if you have already owned the boat for an arbitrary period of time, which is decided upon and published by each state, then you do not have to pay the sales or use tax in order to bring the boat into that states waters whether or not once upon a time you paid sales or use tax elsewhere. It's up to you to read up on exactly what the law in any state where you intend to keep your boat actually says and not rely on what you think "DOR will probably want." That's one way people get in trouble, by "thinking" about what the state will probably want or what seems reasonable rather than simply reading what the law says and making sure they comply. Sometimes it seems reasonable and sometimes it seems silly, but the law is the law and THAT is what you have to comply with.
No argument there. I was describing a situation where people want/need to register right after the purchase
, not after they owned it and it was registered somewhere else for a while. Same as with the cars btw.
And here is an actual situation which took place 10 years ago. A boat was purchased in MA and taken right away to NH for some work on the hard
. Not registered in MA or NH. Over 1 year later when registering in MA the tax had to be paid as of the date of that purchase in MA plus interest. It wasn't much as the boat was a project
bought for a few hundred dollars. If it was registered in NH right away the tax would not be due in MA as a requisite amount of time has passed. But because it was NOT registered anywhere else since the date of the purchase the tax was due.
Registering in NH just to save on MA sales tax did not make sense in that particular case as the registration fees
in no sales tax NH were substantially higher than the sales tax and registration fees
due in MA. But for a boat which sold for a substantial amount the reverse would be true.
Also some mix up sales tax and excise tax (equivalent to property tax for houses and what you called a "use tax") which are two different animals
. Some states which have no sales tax have steep property (and excise) tax rates, NH is one of them. While admittedly the excise tax is not great in most local jurisdictions it may be steep in others and will add up over the years making sales tax savings less prominent.