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Author Topic: Canadians registering their RV in Montana  (Read 402 times)

charroyv

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Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« on: September 25, 2017, 11:30:27 AM »
For those Canadians wanting to Register their RV in Montana:

In order to save on Registration costs in Canada, for many years I was tempted to Register my RV in the US. Well on my last purchase, I did it. I bought an RV in Canada, used a broker to import it into the USA, registered it in Montana using one of the popular registering agents.

Took 3 days total to receive my registration, it was a great experience, total cost: $500 for creating the LLC, $300 to register the coach. Since I change coaches every year or so; all future coaches would cost $300 to register. Sounded like agreat idea.

On Friday, decided to take my first trip across the border with my new coach. When going from Canada to the US, it was not easy. They questionned why I had a US registration and was thoroughly searched. 45 minutes later, I was good to go. Not fun, wasted time, but hey its not a usual thing!

On Sunday, returning to Canada: Now that's where things got really ugly!

Get to the border at 12:45 PM. Border officer says, please pull over for secondary screening. I thought to myself: here we go again (boy was I in for a surprise)! They ask me to get out of the coach and unlock all compartments. They bring out the dog and go through inspecting the coach (nothing new up till now).

The officers go inside and come back out after 15 minutes ( I thought I was done, boy was I wrong!). The officer first says : Did you know its illegal for a Canadian to drive a US registered vehicle in Canada? Euhhh.. no. Do you know, I could give you a$35,000.00 fine, remove your passports and deny you leaving the country for 10 years? (By now, I am shitting bricks, my job requires me to travel, my wife is freaking out!).

I said: Officer, I was not aware of this. His response: not knowing the law is not a valid reason or defence.

Now: without leaving the CBP office, you must first proove the coach was purchased in Canada. Luckily I was able to reach the seller. He e-mailed me his proof of purchase and our proof of sale.

Next: Now my wife and I were allowed to enter Canada, but not the coach, and we were still liable for the fine. He said: proove to me the coach was legally imported in the US. I was able to proove that from an e-mail thread with the broker and showed him the documents.

Now: We were freed from the fine, but the vehicle was still refused entry in Canada. I had to return the coach to the US. I turned around, enterred the US, found a place to store the RV and drove back with my car that was hitched to the coach. I got home at 8:00 PM (instead of 2:00 PM)

Now the situation is as follows:
The coach can never be brought back into Canada without it being re-imported and paying 15% tax on its value. So beware if you do register it in the US, you cannot bring your coach back into Canada!
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UTTransplant

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 11:41:19 AM »
I actually have trouble believing why you would ever think that was allowed. This is an object lesson that tax avoidance schemes should be thoroughly vetted with a knowledgeable tax attorney in your area of residence, not just your next door neighbor or the internet. No tax authority in the world has a sense of humor.
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lavarock1210

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 12:18:46 PM »
You may find similar regulations within the USA.

When I was working construction for a large Electric company I had problems with using a car registered in a state other than the state I was working in.

The company I worked for had to register and pay taxes in the home state and the state I was working in.

I believe similar situations can develop with state income taxes.

As said check with a competent tax lawyer before trying to licence in a state that you are not a resident of.

Sprucegum

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 03:16:44 PM »

 "No tax authority in the world has a sense of humor."

This should be on the front page of every text book in the world  :-X
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QZ

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 06:51:06 PM »
I dont get involved in some of these issues because they get ugly or turn into urinating contests but please let me ask this. As a citizen of Canada why would you do that to your country. I hear plenty of comments from Canadians about American gun nuts and how Canada has better health care and on and on so why do that to your country? I'm not picking on you but I just had to ask. 

I dont know much about Canada but in defense of you I can also see where a person may get sick of certain taxation and socialized systems. My wife worked in the health care industry for 18 years and said there was a steady supply of Canadians coming to the USA for care. Again, no meanness intended but wth....

Edit: I'm also friends and camp with Canadians in Az and have been at campfires all the way over to the Natchez Trace with Canadians.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 07:14:05 PM by QZ »

Roy M

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 08:43:44 PM »
I hope you learned your lesson, you obviously didn't do your homework.  I saw a news item a few years back where a Canadian citizen loaned his American relatives his TC and truck, used their vehicle to commute to work. He got nailed, pleaded ignorance but it cost him. I don't know the situation in Quebec, in British Columbia and Alberta registration fees are not so onerous to justify such a scheme.

SargeW

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 09:08:29 PM »
And just as a side note, I have seen several articles lately regarding US citizens using the Montana LLC to avoid paying taxes in their home state. The DMV's of most states are wise to that that now, and actively seek out those who seek to avoid paying their home state taxes and registration. I am in Florida at the moment and just today saw a high dollar rig pull in with Montana plates pulling a toad with Florida plates. A dead give away. 
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QZ

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 09:14:43 PM »
And just as a side note, I have seen several articles lately regarding US citizens using the Montana LLC to avoid paying taxes in their home state. The DMV's of most states are wise to that that now, and actively seek out those who seek to avoid paying their home state taxes and registration. I am in Florida at the moment and just today saw a high dollar rig pull in with Montana plates pulling a toad with Florida plates. A dead give away.

The irony huh? Rig that costs how much? Burning how much fuel? Huuum maybe it's time for some to stay home. Just saying.  :)

Old Racer

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 07:02:36 AM »
Looks to me like you took a gamble and lost. And as far as tax authorities having no sense of humor, we have met many customs agents at the border who have a great sense of humor, but they have even more authority!

cpaulsen

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 07:14:14 AM »
Should have done your homework!!!!
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steveblonde

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 07:37:33 AM »
Why would you register it in Montana? Registration in Alberta is $65 for the plate on a trailer and a 1 time deal on a MH its about $70 a year i thought - i may be wrong, but ins isnt any cheaper in Montana either. Never cross the border at the Eureka crossing they are the worst lol. But thanks for sharing it hasnt worked out well for you but others can learn
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 08:13:02 AM »
    I just assumed when I read the OP that he did it to avoid the GST and HST.  He likely would have gotten away with reduced fees/taxes if he took the same route, but set up an Alberta company which has no Provincial Sales Tax.  As others have stated, the actual registration fees are not significantly different.

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Old Racer

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Re: Canadians registering their RV in Montana
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 07:54:08 AM »
Reading the OP again, I wonder what happens when it is time to get rid of this unit? Can't take it back to Canada and trade. Can't trade in US and take new one back to Canada. Possible that a Canadian spec motorhome might wind up unsalable in US with different NHTSA specs?

Big, expensive can of worms!

 

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