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Old 05-25-2016, 05:08 PM   #1
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My first dumb ??? CA Tax, Title & License?

I assume in tax-heavy California that buying an RV is just like buying a car and I'll have tax on top of the price of the coach?

So I can make a ballpark figure that I'll be paying and extra 10ish% above the price of the RV?

Sorry.... told you it was a dumb question!
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:16 PM   #2
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This in NOT a dumb question...we did not ask this and were stunned at the answer:

1. The CA DMV (state law) does not require the dealership to charge the local sales tax where the dealer is located.

~The sales tax you will pay is based on YOUR city/county of residence...so you can figure the exact number based on your residence sales tax.
http://www.boe.ca.gov/app/rates.aspx

Like, if you buy the RV in Whittier, but live in Del Mar, you will be charged the sales tax as-if the dealership was sitting in Del Mar...crazy, right? But true.

2. AND...if you buy the RV in another state that allows a temporary transit tag to get you home...the DMV will charge you the sales tax upon registration in CA.

~Yes, that was an amount in the 4-digit range that we were not ready for the DMV to demand when we registered our RV, which had been purchased in TX.

3. Finally, be aware that the DMV will collect annual "personal property tax" charged against the value of the RV...on the renewal bill. It is called the "License Fee", which is different from "Registration Fee" (average $70 annually). This is exactly like the charges for cars, but is typically a much larger number (unless you drive a very expensive car).

Best luck
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:17 PM   #3
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CA DMV Fee Calculator.....plus other info


https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de...ecalculatorweb
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pink toaster View Post
I assume in tax-heavy California that buying an RV is just like buying a car and I'll have tax on top of the price of the coach?

So I can make a ballpark figure that I'll be paying and extra 10ish% above the price of the RV?

Sorry.... told you it was a dumb question!
You sure will and not a stupid question at all. That sales tax really adds up.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:31 PM   #5
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Not exactly accurate. In CA we have Use tax for vehicles and rv's. Yes you're correct it's about 10%. Dmv will also inspect your trailer (basically checking the labels and copying the vin by hand). They'll also send you to weigh your truck so you could save time by bringing a certified weight certificate.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:47 PM   #6
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The bottom line it is no different than buying a car in California. The ballpark is 10% for license and registration, it will be a few hundred less but 10% is good to build your budget on. When you get your annual registration renewal it will go down each year just like a car. There is no additional property tax in California, anything included in your annual registration fee is the same as it would be on a car. If you look at a regular car registration there are a bunch of things added in other than the actual Registration fee. The DMV fee Calculator that Old Biscuit posted will tell you to the penny what it will cost based on where you live, not where you buy. You can see whether you put in a MH or a Car, the same fees will apply, it's just with a MH due to the purchase price it is a lot more, but still both are the same percentage.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:49 PM   #7
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sales tax on your RV purchase can be a deduction on your income tax. Ask your tax professional
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:00 PM   #8
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A good independent registration service can handle all the inspections and paperwork without you having to go to the CA DMV. I used one for the purchase of our phaeton a few months ago. I think their fee was $65 and well worth it, IMHO.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:40 PM   #9
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Not difficult if you go to a small town. We bought our coach in Oregon, so we registered it in Yreka on the way home. Took 2 trips of 30 minutes each: first trip without the trailer to get the papers, second trip with trailer for inspection and weight certificate for the truck. There's a nice rv park a few minutes away. Plus there's a terrific butcher in Yreka - stock up on steaks
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:54 PM   #10
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And if I'm not mistaken, doesn't California charge sales/use tax on the total amount of purchase regardless of a trade in? As a FYI, just registered our coach in WA which was purchased in AZ. Had to pay the difference between AZ sales tax of 8.3 vs WA vehicle tax which is 9%, but the registration fee for tabs is only $116 which I think is a really good price.

Was thinking of SD but still have a current legal WA residency. But not for long!
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
And if I'm not mistaken, doesn't California charge sales/use tax on the total amount of purchase regardless of a trade in? As a FYI, just registered our coach in WA which was purchased in AZ. Had to pay the difference between AZ sales tax of 8.3 vs WA vehicle tax which is 9%, but the registration fee for tabs is only $116 which I think is a really good price.

Was thinking of SD but still have a current legal WA residency. But not for long!
We bought out rig in OR, dealers finance people took care of all the details, even sent the use tax check to WA state. In fact, the new owner can't even handle the documentation, has to come direct from the selling dealer. The dealer made all the arrangements and I just showed up to sign the paperwork. We also elected to keep our old plates since the DW liked the letter/number combination.
Paid the almost 10% tax, but it was only on the difference between purchase and trade. It came out a little less than my one years retirement pay from WA state.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:10 PM   #12
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If you are able to take out of state delivery and keep the rig out of CA for the allotted amount of time, you can avoid paying any sales tax whatsoever.

I suggest reading BOEPUB52 and any related PUBs referenced.

I bought my coach in CA back in '01, took delivery in OR, kept it out of CA for 90 days and payed zero sales tax on it. All the time it was out of state, it was registered in CA. I think the out of state time is now closer to one year.

This is not tax evasion but a legal loophole in the tax code that anyone can use
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:18 PM   #13
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California charges right at 10% +/- a 1/2% or so depending on what the tax rate is where you live in California. I live in one of the cheapest rate areas in California, it helps a little on large purchases.

When it comes to income tax time, you can deduct the mortgage interest as a second home (you can have only one second home). You can also deduct the registration fee. The registration goes down 10% a year until it reaches 15% of the original fee.

Since most motor homes are a fairly large purchase, you can also claim the sales tax the year you buy the coach. The Federal Government gives you a basic deduction for sales tax, but because of the large amount of tax charged on an RV, you can add it to the base deduction.
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Old 05-26-2016, 12:56 AM   #14
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States are weird about it and mostly greedy. I just bought a motorhome in Iowa where the Winnebago factory is, and the dealer does not tax or license it. I have to do that myself in my state. So if I am in a no sales tax state - no tax for me. CA law says the only way you can get away without sales tax is if the dealer ships it out of state and you pick it up there.
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