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Old 05-27-2010, 04:16 PM   #1
utahphunk
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OMGHi2U Sales tax on a new car bought in CA, when I'm registering it at home in Utah?

I've searched and found some conflicting info, so here's yet another "buying a car" thread.

I might buy a new STI that's at a dealership in California. I will be registering the car in Utah, where I live.

I think I can pay just the sales tax in the state where I register it, Utah.

But I've also heard I will have to pay CA sales tax and UT sales tax because that's how CA rolls.

I've also heard I can avoid the CA sales tax if I have them ship the car to me here in Utah.

My special lady friend and I were planning on catching a cheap flight out to CA this weekend to pick up the car (once the paperwork in done through fax), goofing around in San Fran for a day or two, then hauling ass back home to UT. If I have to give that up in order to avoid CA sales tax, so be it.

Also, my person at the dealership has never done an out of state purchase before, so she's not sure. Hence, I turn to you guys.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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Ok.

FWIW.

I live in CT. I buy a car in NY. NY charges me CT sales tax and remits it to CT.

Temporary plates from CA? You're a Utah resident that's going to register the car in Utah and ultimately pay the Utah sales tax.

I'll have to see what I can find.

*EDIT*

Call the CA BOE: 800-400-7115 http://www.boe.ca.gov/index.htm

Unless you have actual situs in CA, how can you be 'forced' to register the car in CA? You can't. You reside in and are sited in UT.

Respectfully, call the Board of Equalization and don't guess (or get burned when at the dealer).

Last edited by Big-E; 05-27-2010 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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Don't see him saying anything about registering the car in CA only paying sales tax.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by vrusso View Post
Don't see him saying anything about registering the car in CA only paying sales tax.
That's correct.

Buying in CA.

Registering in UT.

Paying sale tax in ????
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrusso View Post
Don't see him saying anything about registering the car in CA only paying sales tax.
Correct.

Respectfully, when do you pay the sales tax? When you register the car. Thus, how can CA charge the sales tax if he's not registering in CA?

Call CA BOE.

I just called - high volume of calls.

Best time to call BOE is between 8am and 9am PST.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
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You pay the sales tax in your home state as far as I know. You'll have to pay some fee I'd bet for transferring the title from state to state, also not sure what UT's smog laws are.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lboogie View Post
...also not sure what UT's smog laws are.

Probably much much less then CA, but it may need some changes doubt it though.......CA FTL when it comes to emissions.....
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
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I'll just say, California is not going to let you buy somethimg in their state without them getting their piece. My money is on that you'll pay sales tax in CA, when you register it in UT they will want to see what taxes you paid in CA and subtract those from what you would owe in UT if you had bought it there...which will probably be wash since the CA tax is most likley higher.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:39 PM   #9
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Odd, up here you only pay sales tax in your residing state.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
I'll just say, California is not going to let you buy somethimg in their state without them getting their piece. My money is on that you'll pay sales tax in CA, when you register it in UT they will want to see what taxes you paid in CA and subtract those from what you would owe in UT if you had bought it there...which will probably be wash since the CA tax is most likley higher.

pending where you buy the car and what county the sales tax is anywhere from 8.25% to 9.75%
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:52 PM   #11
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I just bought a new car in Utah and the dealer said i can pay sells tax when i register in my home state of Idaho. I dont see why you cant do the same. But payin tax both in CA and Ut....I wouldnt!! Id talk to the dealership and see what they say.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:48 PM   #12
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Well you screwed yourself. If you purchased the Car from another company based in UTAH and they have ties with business in CA you may not have to pay CA sales tax it depends for that situation. BUT, you are purchasing the car in CA from a dealership in CA you will HAVE to pay CA Sales tax NO matter where you register it.

In English here is the law simply stated:

"If a sale originates in California, and possession of the item is taken in California, then sales tax applies".

IF you are driving out there and taking possession of the vehicle you will pay CA sales tax. Registration doesn't matter.

But if you dont drive down there and take it and have a company ship it to you the CA tax may STILL apply as there are laws to prevent this called use tax:

"Use tax is to be paid by any purchaser who stores, uses, or consumes within the state any tangible personal property purchased from an out-of-state seller (unless the vendor charges sales tax, as stated above). Use tax was created to protect California vendors from unfair out-of-state competition. The buyer is responsible for remitting use tax to the State Board of Equalization. "

It just depends I guess. If you drive out there to take it, you WILL pay CA sales tax. Check with other dealerships in your area if they can purchase for you and ship so you dont pay CA sales tax which is now 9.25% i believe. See if they can do it, worse case they say no. You should NOT have to pay CA tax and then ALSO pay UT tax, that shouldn't happen. Good luck.

Last edited by Freep; 05-27-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:50 PM   #13
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call the dealership? I was under the impression that you can tell them that you are going to register the car in UT and would be paying tax there. I think theres a small fee for some temp transportation tags ( few days-week) that will let you drive the car back home.

T
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:02 PM   #14
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So, here's my input, hopefully this will help a little.

I live in Nevada, purchased my car in California.
At the dealer, we factored in California sales tax into the loan. However, my dads business is in California, so we used his address on the loan paperwork.
We used his address because we believed it would help us avoid the sales tax at the DMV at registering time. I would rather have the $2,000+ in my monthly payments than all at once, but that's me. So if you're wanting to pay sales tax in your loan in California, just grab a PO Box for $30.
If you are going to pay for it in Utah, then that should happen automatically if you use your Utah address on your paperwork.
Again this is just what happened with me, and we didn't know any of this for sure.
All I know is when I went in to register the car in Nevada, using the California address allowed me to keep the tax in California, I did not end up double paying.

Anyway I hope you can gather all the info you need here, and good luck with your purchase.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:05 PM   #15
utahphunk
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Thanks everyone for all the replies!

The salesperson I spoke with was great, but confused on a few different things. This is my current understanding:

If you buy the car in CA and pick it up, you pay CA sales tax.

If you buy the car in CA and have it shipped to another state, you only pay sales tax in the state where you register it.

Furthermore, I think "whiskey" is right in that if I did pay CA sales tax, I could show the UT DMV that receipt and just pay the difference, which would be zero b/c CA's sales tax is higher.

Ultimately, I guess I need to look at the total cost of the car "shipped to UT + UT sales tax" versus "fly to CA and pay CA sales tax". It's probably pretty close.

Separately: She just told me the deal is off because of the Red Flag rule in CA. She said it completely prevents a CA dealership from setting up the standard Subaru/Chase financing for someone out of state.



So I called their F&I guy (who was also great) and he said the above is incorrect. They can finance someone from out of state no problem. I also called another dealership near her and they confirmed that it's no problem to do that, and they do it all the time.

If I talk to her tomorrow and she insists they can't finance me because of the Red Flag rule, I'm going to assume she got cold feet about the great price they offered me and are cockblocking me in the hopes of selling it for more $$$ this memorial day weekend. I think I'll play hardball if that happens.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom@kartboy View Post
I was under the impression that you can tell them that you are going to register the car in UT and would be paying tax there.
That's what I thought/read too. It sounds like California is special and doesn't work like that. *shrug*
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:29 PM   #17
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if its financed you pay tax b4 you get registered so i would imaging they make you pay ca tax and when you get in registed it should say you have already payed tax on the bank title.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:37 AM   #18
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I used to broker cars online in California and dealt with out of state buyers. You pay taxes to the county in which your car will be registered in. The thing about driving out versus shipping out is not true. It doesn't matter. You can buy the car from a CA dealership and the dealership can issue a temp registration that allows you to drive the car out of the state within 48 hours (I think it's 48) and not pay any CA sales tax.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utahphunk View Post

If you buy the car in CA and pick it up, you pay CA sales tax.

If you buy the car in CA and have it shipped to another state, you only pay sales tax in the state where you register it.
I called the CA BOE this morning and this is essentially how it works.

Buy the car in CA and take possession in CA requires the payment of CA sales tax.

Buy the car in CA but have it shipped out-of-state and you do not pay the CA sales tax.

OP, push the line: your lady friend is your 'shipper'. You buy the car but you don't take possession. She instead takes possession and is in effect your shipper.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-E View Post
I called the CA BOE this morning and this is essentially how it works.

Buy the car in CA and take possession in CA requires the payment of CA sales tax.

Buy the car in CA but have it shipped out-of-state and you do not pay the CA sales tax.
Thanks! I did the same thing and got the same answer, which is comforting for once.

The fake-shipper idea is probably a bad one. The dealership will want a bill of lading in order to cover their butts tax-wise. Plus, my lady is not super excited about us getting this car, so I doubt she'd go undercover to help me get it.

In an effort to prevent any possible bait and switch, I think I may have spooked the dealership earlier in the process. I told them I wanted to get all the paperwork done via fax before I would commit to flying out there. Two hours later, their internet sales manager that I had been working with is telling me that her finance manager says they can't get SOA financing for an out-of-stater because of the red flag law.

Either he's confused or he's BS-ing me because he thinks I'm sketchy due to my faxed-paperwork request. Calling a red flag before the play has even started? That's bull**** and I'll fight it.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:34 PM   #21
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Latest dealer story: They "can't sell me the car (financed by SOA) because they are concerned I would not be able to register it in UT without the title."

More bull****!
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #22
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This just sounds like a headache.

Why aren't you just finding an STI in your own state?
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:46 PM   #23
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This just sounds like a headache.

Why aren't you just finding an STI in your own state?
Lightning Red.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utahphunk View Post
Latest dealer story: They "can't sell me the car (financed by SOA) because they are concerned I would not be able to register it in UT without the title."

More bull****!
Agreed!

How else does the 90% of Americans whom finance their respective cars register them with the DMV? They don't have the title as of yet because, duh, they're financing the car?

Ask them how do their CA customers register the car when it's being financed and thus the bank effectively holds title until the lien is released?

BS to the max!
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