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Tax on used boat?

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So I am purchasing my first boat this weekend and am pretty stoked grin. I have read on some of the listings in the classifieds that you do not have to pay sales tax on a used boat if it is from a private party. If this is not accurate please let me know but my question is do I have to do anything special with allocation of purchase price between boat and trailer? I thought I read that you allocate all the money to the trailer? Or do I just give him the check and its a done deal? TIA

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Give him the check and thats it. Till you go to transfer the title of trailer and boat. If im corect you will have to pay tax and licence on the trailer only.


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Thanks for the info you are right on! I just got off with the DNR and they verified that purchases of boats from a private party are exempt from sales tax. He indicated that I just have to have seller sign title over to me and bring it into DMV to have it registered in my name. Also, pay taxes and fees on the trailer.

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Some registrars require a printed or handwritten and signed "bill of sale" in addition to the owners card/title to transfer a boat/atv/sled. I'm not sure if that is the law across the state of if the registrars around here are just more picky. Make sure the seller writes something up when you pick up the boat so you don't have to track them down again later.

Something like this "I Joe Smith sell a 1996 Lund Rebel, license number MN 1234 AB to John Doe for a sum of $100.00 on 4/20/09." and have them sign their name below it.


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DuckJ is correct.

I bought a used boat last fall and went up to the county building to register it and what not. I went in with a pile of money, thinking I was going to have to fork over the 0.075% tax (Yea, Duluth) on the whole package. The nice lady at the counter said I only had to pay tax on the trailer.

I was so flabbergasted I forgot to lie about what the trailer was worth and told her the full Blue-Book price we found when I was financing the boat. Plus, my registration sticker on the boat was good for another year.

10K boat package cost me $87.00 in taxes. I'm sure boat dealers don't want to hear it, but I'm never buying a brand-new boat. There are bazillions of top-notch near-new boats out there by private parites if you take the time and wait for what you want. Yeah, you're going to pay near-new prices, but think about how much you are not spending on sales tax.

BTW, when I was looking, the best boats were from guys who were upgrading. They had the best looking and cared for gear out there.

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