Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I owe sales tax on the boat I just purchased?
Sales tax owed will depend on the type of sale.
Isolated or Casual Sales:
- Taxed at 4% on purchases from April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016. Exempt on purchases prior to April 1, 2016, or after June 30, 2016.
- Louisiana R.S.47:301(10)(c)(ii) excludes isolated or occasional sales from the definition of "retail sale", when the property is sold by persons who do not hold themselves out to be dealers of such items.
- Person to person sales of boats (includes out-of-state) - a boat purchased from a prior owner or someone not in the business of selling boats is considered an isolated or occasional sale.
- The prior owner’s title, certificate of origin, or Wildlife and Fisheries registration certificate must be properly signed over to the new owner with a notarized bill of sale signed by both parties.
- Taxed at 4.45% on purchases made on or after July 1, 2018 and taxed at 5% for purchases between April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018.
- R.S. 47:303(A) provides that the tax imposed by R.S. 47:302 shall be collectible from all "persons" as defined in the sales tax law who are engaged as "dealers", as that term is also defined in the sales tax law.
The term "dealer" is very broadly defined. Part of the "dealer" definition at R.S. 47:301(4)(h) provides that the following persons shall be "dealers". Any person engaging in business in the taxing jurisdiction. "Engaging in business in the taxing jurisdiction" means and includes any of the following methods of transacting business: maintaining directly, indirectly, or through a subsidiary, an office, distribution house, sales house, warehouse, or other place of business or by having an agent, salesman, or solicitor operating within the taxing jurisdiction under the authority of the seller or its subsidiary irrespective of whether such place of business, agent, salesman, or solicitor is located in such taxing jurisdiction permanently or temporarily or whether such seller or subsidiary is qualified to do business in such taxing jurisdiction, or any person who makes deliveries of tangible personal property into the taxing jurisdiction other than by a common or contract carrier.
Consignment sales and auction sales are considered sales by dealers.
- Sales tax must be paid to the dealer or builder and must be a separate line on the bill of sale and/or invoice.
- The use of a broker will not necessarily disqualify a transaction from qualifying as an isolated or occasional sale as long as the seller meets the following criteria:
- the seller does not hold him/herself out to be engaged in the business of selling boat or vessels;
- the seller does not have a history of frequent, regular and repeated sales of boats or vessels;
- the seller maintains title, if the boat or vessel is titled, or possession, if the boat or vessel is not titled; and
- the seller purchased the boat or vessel for his/her own use. Further, to qualify a transaction as an isolated or occasional sale under the provisions of La. R.S. 47:301(10)(c)(ii)(bb), a buyer must submit documentation, such as a cancelled check from the seller to buyer and a bill of sale indicating title is being transferred or the prior owner’s certificate of registration showing his or her transfer of ownership to the buyer.