Gudgeon, use tax is not complicated and are routine. First determine if you owe such and then determine if you can utilize exemptions to the use tax, or in the alternative purchase
a Use Permit
in Washington, which have limited duration and types of permitted uses. However, you state that you intend to be in Washington waters for two summers which is longer then the one year limit provided by a Use Permit which Use Permit costs $500 or $800 depending on boat length. At the end of the one year Use Permit you would need to leave Washington for two complete years [24 months] before returning to Washington waters, else the Use tax will become due upon reentry during the 24 month period, likely calculated at the then market value of your vessel.
Reference the details in the recent thread on the same subject matter and the links provided in this redundant thread, e.g., Washington's excise tax 0.5%. If you wander up to Canada beware your length of stay and the temporary import
[again one year] / permitting requirements so as to avoid the new retaliatory tariff duty [10%] [i.e., Canada's Trump tax] and the GST/PST which I believe totals 12% in British Columbia
, which together total 23.2% of the imported value of the boat at time of entry. Additonally, there will be visa issues if you stay long enough to trigger the Canadian taxes
What is use tax?
Use tax is a tax on the use of goods or certain services in Washington when sales tax has not been paid. Goods used in this state are subject to either sales or use tax, but not both. Thus, the use tax compensates when sales tax has not been paid.
When is use tax due?
Use tax is due if:
Goods are purchased in another state that does not have a sales tax or a state with a sales tax lower than Washington’s. For example, items you purchase
that are used in Washington are subject to use tax.
Goods are purchased from someone who is not authorized to collect sales tax. For example, purchases of furniture from an individual through a newspaper classified ad or a purchase of artwork from an individual collector.
Goods are purchased out of state by subscription, through the Internet
, or from a mail order catalog company. Many of these companies collect Washington’s sales tax, but if the company from which you order does not, you owe the use tax.
Personal property is acquired with the purchase of real property.
How do I pay use tax?
Use tax is determined on the value of the goods when first used in Washington. Generally, this is the purchase price
. However, a depreciated value may be determined if the goods are used outside the state for a lengthy time before use in Washington by the same person. Use tax is also due on any freight, delivery
, or shipping
charges paid to the seller.
The use tax rate is the same as your sales tax rate. To determine the correct rate for your area, check out our Local Sales Tax Rates or try our Tax Rate Lookup Tool. Use tax, unlike sales tax, is due at the rate applicable to where you first use the article [which county / city], not where the sale
Enjoy sailing the Salish Sea and Puget's Sound. All the best from the Last Best Place where we don't have any sales or use taxes.