I bought a 1915 Speedster. The Massachusetts title says 1915 Coupe. In Massachusetts we don't have a sales tax, we have a 'whatever is higher tax' - no joke, that's the law. This means when you bring in your bill of sale, the registry looks up on NADA business online (you must be a paid subscriber) and they determine what the value of your car is. You paid $10K, and they look it up on NADA, it says it's worth $25K, guess what you pay taxes on..$25K.
Now, you paid $10K and they look it up, and it says it's worth $4K, you pay on $10K, AKA "whatever is higher". That's the law and open to the knucklehead behind the counter interpretation of what he thinks your car is worth, NOT what you actually paid for the car to determine your "SALES TAX" - - It's criminal, it's disgusting, it's a totally illegal "LAW", It's Massachusetts, and it's the way it is.....
Now that we've established that fun fact, I'll get to my point.
NO doubt, when I go into the registry they are going to try and look up a 1915 coupe (that's what's on the title instead of the non-existent speedster category) and either come up short, or assume it's a couplet and charge me based on that. I can't afford that. What car, today, that will be in their NADA guidelines is worth the least amount of money to help me explain to them what I've got.
Off the top of my head, choices are Touring, Roadster, Couplet, Sedan. What do I tell them it "actually is" to get the least pain when it comes to the 'whatever' tax their going to hit me with? What has the LOWEST NADA values?
BTW, forget the appeals suggestions. Been There. Once bought a car for $11K (honestly), they charged me based on $28K. I paid, then appealed for $100 and was given a letter of rejection. They said if I appealed again, I could pay another $100 to meet in court where they would reject me to my face.
In the 1960s, the nickname of your state that I knew was "Taxachusetts." Looks like nothing has changed....
Who did you buy it from ?
Where did you buy it from ?
Before you go in - get a signed & notarized Bill Of Sale
from who you bought it from describing what it is & what the value is ..
Of course you might be able to " influence " what they put to paper ..
Move the hell out of that state!
And I thought Ontario was bad !!
In the Nov/Dec issue of the Vintage Ford there is an article "From the Master". It lists a 1917 to 1920 bare chassis as an available option for a car. List prices were $325 to $550. You could tell them you would go on the high end at $550.
Let us know how it turns out.
To Matt: show them a photo and tell them that it's a modified car. They will most likely accept the amount that you paid if you can prove that amount. Otherwise they will tax you on what the title says. They nicked me for an amount $1,900 above what I actually paid for my '27 touring car, and it's now a sedan with an automatic transmission according to the state. The Mass Registry is impossible on sales and titles.
The Mass RMV the most rough-less despicable agency in the state Thats the one that needs to be bombed NOT
innocent People. And I hope they read this !
To all you Mass. residents, I use to live in Massachusetts and then moved to beautiful New Hampshire, where you go to your friendly town clerk to register your vehicles, even if you go to the Department of Safety - Motor Vehicles in Concord they are (MASS residents please sit down) very helpful and friendly. I have gone to Concord many times when I want to register one of my antique vehicles and they even let me pick out the plate I want to put on the car!
Mass. Register Officers
Matt, I feel your pain. Similar experience when I once lived in KY, after living in Mass, and NH. I did a little searching on line. The open NADA site only goes back to 1926. For a coupe the low retail is $7,175.00, average is $11,050, and high is $17,500. Here is the link http://www.nadaguides.com/Classic-Cars/1926/Ford/Model-T/2-Door-Coupe-2-Passenge r/Values If you print the page and take it with you it may help, but then again it may not. Good luck with the Registry folks.
The trouble with Massachusetts is --
Forget about it, I don't have enough time to list them all before I die
Call the RMV hotline and ask them to tell you exactly what they will assess your T at for tax purposes. The hotline is normally pretty good at this as they are using the same book values as the a**hole clerks. Online, NADA only goes back to 1926 for T's and has high value at $17,500.00, so that may be what to expect for valuation. 1-800-858-3926. Be sure to get the person's name when they value it. At least you'll know what to expect and may be able to "devalue" it with a licensed appraiser's report (ask if you can do that before doing so).
Had a similar experience when i registered the runabout. Brought photos and a noterized bill of sale(car from out of state)bought for $X I applied for new title for a convertible. The registry tried the same deal to value the car. Timing was everything as i was waited on at 11:45am and the Dept. of revenue were walking out to lunch. So as not to tie up the other waiting patrons they made me pay sales tax on $X. Told i was going to receieve another bill for additional sales tax. The bill must have gotten lost in the mail as that was five years ago. BTW went to one of the registry's in one of the poorer cities. Good luck
Whatever you do, don't go in there with an "attitude"! Smile and be patient and friendly, if you're lucky some of it will rub off on the DMV person and you'll get a break.
Chris, John especially, thanks for you help. I looked at the link and see what you mean. I called the number and here's how it went
1:00 p.m. Call Mass RMV on hold for 27 minutes to get a guy who said the book only goes back to 1926 and call DOR (department of revenue) instead.
1:30 Called DOR 45 minutes on hold cell phone, hung up
2:45 20 minutes on hold
Went home and tried again
3:30 until just now 4:27 on my land line until I spoke with someone.
ME - "I am calling to inquire what you will assess my 1915 Model T Coupe for tax purposes at the registry"
DOR - "oh, those are still in existence?" "Hold please" .......
DOR - "Our book doesn't go back that far and the guy just left with the magazine we look up the prices in."
Me - "What is the name of the magazine, maybe I can look it up?"
DOR - "Not sure the magazine, maybe car value or something like that. Just remember, whatever you paid or what we look up, you will be charged the higher amount." "Call back tomorrow when the guy is here"
So, that's how it went. I think they take a Hemmings book or something similar, and take the highest advertised sales price. For example, currently on Hemmings 1915 there are 4 listed private sale cars..
$20,000 / 15,700 / 24,500 , and $16,900.
Best case, they average and I'm charged based on $19,275 ($1200+ in taxes?) OR they hit me for $24,500 ($1531.00) in taxes, when I actually paid $10K (honestly and legit) so should get hit for $625 in taxes, plus title fee, plus registration.
I am aware that many states have for some time now been charging sales and or use tax by reference to some "book" value when purchasing a used automobile in a private party transaction if that value is greater than the purchase price reported by the buyer. This is an attempt to collect the "proper" amount of tax due as a result of those who have gone before us and under reported the purchase price for sales tax purposes.
Interestingly enough, however, I have yet to read a state statute that supports imposing sales or use tax on a "book" value. Rather the statutes prescribe that sales or use tax is based upon the purchase price. Notwithstanding the statutes, many states "collect" the tax on the greater of the book value or the self reported purchase price.
So as to comply with the statue, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (as an example, and I suspect that other states do as well) has a process, and a form that one can file, to recover "over paid" sales and use tax in connection with private party used automobile transactions. Here's a link to the form for Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/drs/lib/drs/forms/2010forms/salesandusetax/cert-106.pdf
I strongly suspect that if the form is properly completed and timely filed, one can indeed recover over paid sales or use tax. It may, however, be a bit of a fight. Only each individual can determine the least painful course of action; fight for a refund or walk away from overpaid taxes. I suspect that the states are counting on most individuals walking away; and most probably do so.
In Minnesota they have a special "In Lieu Of" Arrangement. Seems a more enlightened approach:
A $150 in lieu tax applies to passenger vehicles and fire trucks registered in or applying for registration in the collector classes such as Collector, Classic, Street Rod and Pioneer, regardless of actual purchase price or fair market value of vehicle. All other vehicles (trucks, one ton pickups, motorcycles) must pay 6.5 percent of the purchase price or fair market value.
There is a $25 one-time registration tax ($10 for Classic Motorcycle) that is due with the initial application.
Worked flawlessly for me last August.
When the Mafia extorts money from you it's a crime. When the Government extorts money from you it's the "LAW". Only difference is the government doesn't send Guido to brake your kneecaps if you cross them.
Timothy Kelly: "Interestingly enough, however, I have yet to read a state statute that supports imposing sales or use tax on a "book" value."
Here it is...... Last three words on second paragraph.....
From mass.gov :General Rules
Effective August 1, 2009, under Massachusetts sales and use tax provisions, the purchaser, transferee or user having title to or possession of a motor vehicle is directly responsible for the payment of the 6.25% sales or 6.25% use tax. (Prior to August 1, 2009, the sales/use tax rate was 5 percent.) The sales tax, which is imposed by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 64H, applies to transfers of title or possession through retail sales by Massachusetts dealers or lessors in the regular course of business. The use tax, which is imposed by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 64I, applies to all other types of transfers of title or possession where the vehicle transferred is thereafter stored, used, or otherwise consumed in Massachusetts.
Calculation of the Tax:
The sales tax rate is 6.25% of the sales price if the sale is made by a motor vehicle dealer or lessor registered with the Department of Revenue. If the motor vehicle is sold in a casual and isolated sales transaction, however, the use tax rate is 6.25% of the actual amount paid for the vehicle or the clean trade-in value (book value) of the vehicle, whichever is greater.
Why not just register it in an adjacent state ?
In 1954 we called it "Assoftwoshetts"
If you live in this state, you must register your vehicle in this state within 30 days of moving here. If caught, driving a say rhode island vehicle for personal use, more steep fines, CMVI, etc...
So, taking a chance of driving an out of state plate regularly on a mass license of pulled over. Also, you'd need an address to register the car to in another state.
The guy on the phone did ask if I has a 2 door passenger car or a runabout as they are valued different.
To add to David Coleman's post regarding the state of Minnesota:
One major reason why Minnesota has such reasonable and logical laws regarding titling, registering and operating antique cars, classic cars, collector cars and street rods is because people in the hobby were actually involved in creating the legislation. Since 1953, this has included state legislators and politicians who were actively involved in the antique automobile hobby and various individuals and car clubs lobbying for fair and reasonable laws for vehicles that typically see limited use. (The definition of limited use as it pertains to the operation of collector vehicles in Minnesota is actually very liberal.)
This same type of involvement has also allowed for the continued availability of non-Oxy gasoline for collector vehicles.
If you believe that your laws pertaining to antique cars are extremely unreasonable, then perhaps you and your fellow hobbyists should get organized and figure out a way to get them changed.
Frankly, valuing antique cars based on a limited number of published transaction or based on arbitrary and limited values provided by organizations such as the NADA or other "value guides" is utterly ridiculous.
Erik in Minneapolis
To add to Erik's words...
Some collectors/hobbyists were involved in getting the New Hampshire legislature to approve the use of YOM plates.
First, one plate was allowed on the front, regular plate on rear. With further dialogue/negotiations, eventually the law was modified to allow YOM plates both front and rear. (Regular plate MUST be carried with current registration and regular plate.)
Sometimes amicable discussions work.
It's fun to tell them your roadster has one door, or your touring has three doors.
Well, if they're using Hemmings, I'd take exception to that as that's like using Craigslist to determine value. Make sure they tell you what source they use in case you need to contest it.
Ask the DOR if they will accept a licensed appraisal if their valuation is ridiculous. Since you have a Mass title (correct?), you just have to play the value game.
As far as out of state titling, you can register a vehicle in VT without a VT residence, but they assess book value as well and do not title vehicles over 15 years old, period.
The information that you posted:
"Here it is...... Last three words on second paragraph.....
From mass.gov :General Rules........."
is not the statute.
Rather, what you posted is simply someone's (maybe the Dept of Motor Vehicles's and or the Dept of Revenue's) interpretation of how the statute should be implemented.
While I have not spent any time researching the relevant Massachusetts statute(s), I strongly suspect that if you do so you will find that it provides for tax only against the actual purchase price. If the statute(s) were to provide otherwise, the application of the statute(s) would be somewhat arbitrary and capricious (as the likelihood of three different DMV clerks reaching the same conclusion as to "book" value is remote) and would therefore be struck down by the courts if challenged.
It has been mentioned above, I think...but if Massachusetts is as whacko despotic as NJ in trips to Motor Vehicle...
Find a branch office of MDOT that mainly services folks with a parking lot full of 'rainbow' cars (mis-matched from junk yard made up cars)
Serious...it works in NJ!!!!!!!!!
The closest DMV to me processes 'show queens' and 'garage queens' sometimes into 6 figures all of the time...and of course they want their sales tax and of course they have already seen every lie/cheap/cheat/sidestep in the book 10 times over and are ready to do battle! To even try to be sensible with them, their answer is always 'wanna bet?' to the point that if they think it has been over restored or too many bolt up catalog parts in the picture their first snarl snip is..."this new title will have to contain the words 'reconstructed'!" Which of course starts a whole new war of the words...
My son is the one who told me I was going to the wrong Motor Vehicle branch, and was making things way too complicated and to prove it...on the next T he had...we rode one day some 40 miles to a branch that is used to normally not speaking English and usually registering 'beaters' that often have pink slips signed in wrong places.
1926 Ford Coupe, in and out in 15 minutes, no questions asked, really nice acceptance as to value for taxation...
Just an idea...and totally legal...
If I have an iffy title transfer to do I go to a small DMV in a farm community outside the metro Portland area. The last two vehicles with just hand written bills of sale I was out the door in ten minutes with new paperwork! Don.
Maybe you paint a volunteer fire department sign on the door and register it as a tax exempt vehicle...
Note to Timothy - I suspect that you are probably correct. I also suspect that if you hired a really good lawyer and sued the People's Democratic Republic of Massachusetts - you would probably win. I would think that $250,000 worth of legal bills would save you several hundred dollars. Massachusetts' gestapo-like policies for raising revenues are nothing new.
It ain't all bad - the plates for my T in Massachusetts cost $45. It is my understanding that here in Florida they will cost me $400. My car insurance here in the Sunshine state costs three times what it would be in Massachusetts.
I'm a motor vehicle value appraiser and they're probably using a magazine type format called the Old Cars Price Guide which uses a #1 through 6 grading system. #1 is show quality and #6 is essentially a basket case or parts car. They show 5 body styles for 1915. Roadster, Touring, Conv. Coupe, Center door Sedan and Town Car. In #1 condition the cheapest one is the Center door Sedan at $25,000. The most expensive is the Convertible Coupe at $36,000. Good luck! Sounds like you're going to need it.
Ed aka #4
Can you look up 1915 coupe low, median and high from your book please?
From what you posted from Mass. Dept. of Revenue:
"...If the motor vehicle is sold in a casual and isolated sales transaction, however, the use tax rate is 6.25% of the actual amount paid for the vehicle or the clean trade-in value (book value) of the vehicle, whichever is greater."
I have sold and valued hundreds of old cars and many Model T's (Including handling the sale of Model T #220 recently.) As you have found in your conversations with Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue, there is no such thing as a "Clean trade-in value" for a 1915 T.
As pointed out by others, above, NADA only values T's back to 1926. Not the same as 1915, and I doubt the pencil pushers would use those values.
If they are using Old Cars Price Guide, you should bring the car to them IN-PERSON (along with your own copy of the Guide) and INSIST they walk around the car with you, and point out every flaw to show why it could not be considered a "#1" vehicle. The first few pages of the Guide explain the #1 to #6 rating system. Show that to them as well, so they are not just "dazzled" because they see a "neat old car." In my opinion (and Old Cars Guide as well,) NO car that is driven should be considered a #1 condition car. The price you paid is considered to be between a #3 and #4 price for a Conv. Coupe, according to the Guide:
Luckily, I live in Oregon where we have no sales tax and old cars are registered with a flat, one-time fee of $82 for the life of the owner. (Just don't ask about our STATE INCOME TAX.)
(Actually, I just re-read your first post Matt and realize you did not say you paid $10K for the car, but was just using that figure as an example.)
Also, the "#1" price in Old Cars Price Guide would never be considered a "clean TRADE IN value." That would be RETAIL value on a fully-restored, showroom-condition, never-driven car.
Matt, David bailed me out by posting the actual section of the page from the guide. Thanks David.
Ed aka #4