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Maine Resident and Mass Tax

May 1, 2018
11
2
Maine
First time poster and I have not seen an answer to this anywhere nor has Google brought up anything concrete.

In Maine you typically pay sales tax at registration. I am curious if I pick up my Model 3 in Massachusetts (no stores in Maine or NH) are they able to avoid the Mass sales tax or do I just have to pay their higher sales tax?

Thank you!
 

Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
2,917
2,168
Maine
You cannot pick up the car in MA if you will be registering in ME or NH, they will deliver it to you by truck and you take the paperwork to your town office to pay the tax and registration.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jsanford

Trips

"Boring bonehead questions are not cool. Next?"
Sep 22, 2015
1,223
1,407
Omaha, NE
You cannot pick up the car in MA if you will be registering in ME or NH, they will deliver it to you by truck and you take the paperwork to your town office to pay the tax and registration.

Unless Maine is unique, I believe you still have the option to pick it up. Due to a greater number of issues with Model 3 I would recommend that option. For example in Nebraska with no locations we pick up our vehicles in Missouri. After that we have to pay the sales tax and registration in the state it is registered in.
 

Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
2,917
2,168
Maine
Maine is unique in many ways ;) but the issue is MA cannot issue a temporary plate to a ME owner but the ME plate cannot be obtained without the proper paperwork and that is not available until the car is delivered. Once upon a time Dedham used NJ plates until NJ changed their law. We hope that once there is a NH store then ME cars can drive away with NH temp plates. Service Center has said plans are for a store in NH before ME.
 

HeloCaptain

Member
May 23, 2017
48
46
Manchester, New Hampshire
I purchased my [inventory] model X from the floor at the Dedham, MA store. I was told I would have to pay MA sales tax if I picked it up there.

They delivered it to my home in Manchester, NH (no sales tax in NH). The truck/trailer that delivered my X also had a Model 3 that was being delivered to ME after completion of my delivery.

As an aside, our first Tesla, a model S, was an inventory (showroom) car in West Palm Beach. For out of state car purchasers, FL charges the same sales tax as your home state (0% in NH). We took a flight to West Palm Beach, paid no sales tax, and left with a temporary FL paper plate for a delightful and enjoyable drive home to NH.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,768
7,983
Maine
Maine is unique in many ways ;) but the issue is MA cannot issue a temporary plate to a ME owner but the ME plate cannot be obtained without the proper paperwork and that is not available until the car is delivered. Once upon a time Dedham used NJ plates until NJ changed their law. We hope that once there is a NH store then ME cars can drive away with NH temp plates. Service Center has said plans are for a store in NH before ME.

That shouldn't be necessary. Massachusetts recognizes out-of-state temporary registrations issued to residents of that state.

This ...
http://www.massagent.com/events/16web/2016_manuals/Ask MAIA 2016.pdf
... refers to ...
http://www.massagent.com/rpmlinks/tempplates.pdf
which says that they honor out-of-state temp registrations.

I don't know whether it would be recognized by New Hampshire but I would assume it would be.

So, a Mainer should be able to obtain a temporary registration plate (transit plate) to drive the car back to Maine to wherever you'd have the inspection.

Maine transit plate.
Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Registrations & Titles

A Pittsfield, Maine page lists the required information, which essentially is just showing insurance:
Finance

EDIT: OK, never mind. There's also a sales tax problem.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Gwgan

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,768
7,983
Maine
I purchased my [inventory] model X from the floor at the Dedham, MA store. I was told I would have to pay MA sales tax if I picked it up there.

Mass says: Guide to Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax

That does reads like you could go to Dedham, MA, and buy it. You just wouldn't be able to drive it away without paying the sales tax. Basically the same as California.

So if the OP bought in Mass, and drove it back to Maine, they'd pay 6.25% sales tax, which is greater than the 5.5% sales tax rate in Maine. I can't find specific reference to it for cars, but I think that being an out-of-state sale use tax applies instead. Because Mass' sales tax rate is higher, there wouldn't be sales tax due in Maine. However, I expect that the OP wouldn't think it'd be worth an extra 0.75% on the cost of the car.
 
Last edited:
May 1, 2018
11
2
Maine
So even though I am only 95 miles away from Dedham, they will still truck it to me? I'd rather avoid the higher sales tax and put that towards the excise tax.
 

HeloCaptain

Member
May 23, 2017
48
46
Manchester, New Hampshire
If Dedham is the store that is going to receive your car, then I suggest you phone them and inquire about delivery to ME. It may add a day (or days) to your actually gaining possession.

You may want to consider going to the store to inspect it though, just in case there are any visible issues that need to be addressed prior to delivery. I know the car that was destined for ME when the truck/trailer left my home was inspected by the buyer, because they were there the day I bought my X.
 

Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
2,917
2,168
Maine
A transit plate may be possible, but the taxes are unavoidable.
If a nonresident of Massachusetts buys a motor vehicle in Massachusetts and takes title to and/or possession of the vehicle in Massachusetts, the sale is subject to the Massachusetts sales/use tax, regardless of whether the nonresident intends to use the motor vehicle in or outside of Massachusetts.
Guide to Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax
 

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