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Author Topic: Registering an RV as a non-resident  (Read 33112 times)

nathanwebb

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Registering an RV as a non-resident
« on: March 20, 2008, 08:46:25 PM »
Hi,

My Wife an I (both Aussies) will be heading to LA in about a month to start a 9 month trip around North America.  We're getting pretty excited about it all, as it's getting close, and it seems that the more I research, the more questions I have!

I was hoping that someone could clear up something for me, regarding registering an RV.  I've read lots about zero sales tax in Oregon and Montana, but I've also read that if you buy an RV in California, then you can't use this trick.  Is that right?

So we thought that instead of buying the RV in LA, we could rent a car and drive to Vegas, and buy an RV there.  Then we could register in Oregon using a mail forwarding service based in Oregon.  Even for a fairly cheap, used Class C, we figure that we could save well over $1K doing it that way.  Have I missed something, and am I trying to be too smart by half?

Thanks in advance,
Nathan

Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2008, 09:49:31 PM »
Quote
I've also read that if you buy an RV in California, then you can't use this trick.

To legally avoid paying sales tax in California on an RV you buy here, you have to take delivery in another state and keep the RV out of California for 91 consecutive days out of the first 6 months of ownership. There's no trick.

Oregon has no sales tax so, if you buy an RV there, you pay no sales tax. No trick.

Quote
So we thought that instead of buying the RV in LA, we could rent a car and drive to Vegas, and buy an RV there.

Maybe someone else can comment on sales tax in Nevada.
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nathanwebb

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2008, 02:43:59 AM »
Brilliant!  Thanks Tom.  So far we can meet those requirements...  We're only expecting to be in California for less than a month in total during the first 6 months.

Is Vegas the right place to buy, or is Reno/Phoenix better for buying RVs?   I suppose any place could be the right place depending on the RV you find, but maybe some cities are better than others?

Thanks again - Nathan

Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 04:49:51 AM »
Nathan,

Assuming you're buying new, the best city to buy an RV is where the dealer is that will give you the best deal. If you have some idea of make/model, you could get some quotes from dealers ahead of time, although the final price will be something you'll negotiate. I'll let others suggest dealerships in the cities you mentioned.
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Ned

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2008, 06:48:58 AM »
You can buy the RV anywhere, and if it's not the state where you will register the RV, then they will deliver it to you in an adjacent state.  You will pay the sales tax, if any, to the state where you register the RV.  That choice depends on a number of factors.  Have you selected a state to register in?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

nathanwebb

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2008, 05:11:24 PM »
Hi Ned,

We haven't selected a state to register it in, although we are considering Oregon or Montana.  Any suggestions are welcome!  For Montana, I see that most people use the LLC option, but I figured that we wouldn't need an LLC as we aren't personally resident in any other state.  From my limited understanding, I believe that I only need an address in Montana or Oregon for the registration papers to go to, and then for that mail to be forwarded to where I am physically located at the time.  Have I got that right?

I really like the option of having the RV delivered to an adjacent state - that would work perfectly with our plans.

Regards,
Nathan

Ned

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2008, 05:30:05 PM »
In Oregon, you need to actually be a resident.  The state will require proof of residence, and they have been asking for tax returns as proof.  Just a mailing address won't serve.  I think you can forget Oregon.  The disadvantage of Montana is the high insurance rates compared to other states.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

nathanwebb

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2008, 06:06:53 PM »
Well there you go... Now I can see why so many people opt for SD  :) 

Do you know what the catch is with Delaware?  They don't seem to have any sales tax either, but there isn't much mention of using that state for RV registration.

ArdraF

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2008, 06:23:53 PM »
Sales tax in Las Vegas (Clark County) is 7.75 percent.  Registering vehicles in Nevada is about the same as in California.  Also, vehicle insurance costs more in southern Nevada because of higher accident rates and more claims.

With regard to the Montana LLC, while it may sound attractive, we just had the first report here on the forum of someone being caught using it to avoid paying taxes.  This is a felony and you do not want to do anything illegal.  I suggest that some of the other foreign RVers who have bought RVs here chime in and tell us what they did about registering their RV.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 06:27:49 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
:D :D

Ron

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2008, 07:18:25 PM »
Actually the last time I checked the insurance rates in Montana and Texas are very similar.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Carl L

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2008, 10:08:14 PM »
Hey folks.  Nathan is a foreigner - he is touring, not immigrating (right Nathan?).   How does any particular state have a claim on him?   If he would go to Oregon, for instance, an buy a RV there and register it there using his visa and passport as ID how would they refuse to register him?  And how would any other state say boo?

For instance California has this in their DMV Manual of Registration Procedures.

2.065Foreign Resident In-Transit Permit for a New Vehicle
A foreign visitor who prearranges purchase of a new American-made passenger vehicle from a California dealer before entering the United States may operate the vehicle on a Foreign Resident In-Transit Permit without payment of registration fees or sales tax. Refer to Section 25.050 for permit information.


It will not do Nathan much good since the permit is only for 30 days.  However, it does indicate that states handle non-resident foreign buyers differently. 
I would recommend that Nathan contact Oregon dealers or an Australian agent that handles vehicle sales. 

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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nathanwebb

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2008, 03:06:12 AM »
Spot on, Carl.  We don't have a home state and don't intend to settle in the US.  I think I might send an email to the Oregon, California and Delaware DMVs and see what they say - and I'll make sure to let everyone here know, just for future reference :)  Otherwise I'm pretty sure that we'll end up trying to register in SD.

Thanks for all the help from everyone - I was very confused until I found this forum!

Carl L

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2008, 02:22:33 PM »
Spot on, Carl.  We don't have a home state and don't intend to settle in the US.  I think I might send an email to the Oregon, California and Delaware DMVs and see what they say - and I'll make sure to let everyone here know, just for future reference :)  Otherwise I'm pretty sure that we'll end up trying to register in SD.

Thanks for all the help from everyone - I was very confused until I found this forum!

You know, there is a parallel here with the foreign purchase plans that European car manufacturers have for fly and drive purchasing by tourists.   I wonder if any of the US RV mfrs or big dealers have anything similar?
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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nathanwebb

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2008, 06:26:57 PM »
And I should probably add that we won't have any income in the US, so income tax isn't a consideration.  So we are only looking at which state gives us the lowest sales tax, registration and insurance rates.  Thanks.

Carl L

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2008, 07:51:41 PM »
And I should probably add that we won't have any income in the US, so income tax isn't a consideration.  So we are only looking at which state gives us the lowest sales tax, registration and insurance rates.  Thanks.

I suspect that in the West that would be Oregon.   Portland would be the easiest destination and should have a decent selection of RV dealers.   Has a neat mountain too -- Mt. Hood.  Hood is the Fujiyama of North America -- now that St. Helens is reduced to a stub.   Insurance is more of a national matter inasmuch as the companies are national in scope.   
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Ron

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2008, 08:14:44 PM »
Doesn't have to be Oregon since the dealer where ever the purchase is made can usually provide a temporary tag for transporting the rig somewhere else to register.  One Forum member had his Montana tags in hand when their coach came off the assembly line.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Ian H

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2008, 09:27:42 PM »
I have a Montana LLC which i set up in 2005 and renew it every year ,I have bought an A class ,TT ,5er and a truck all registered in Montana all have been insured through Progresive using my UK driving licence.I did sign a form and got it notorised to state its a non active LLC with no taxes due.Most of the Brits over here register thier RVs ,trucks ,cars ,bikes etc through Montana the same way
I did chime in on this thread but somehow i dont see it now

Have fun Nathan Web enjoy America ,we certainly do
Ian & Doreen
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Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2008, 10:24:13 PM »
Methinks that the days of the LLC for this purpose are numbered, and the non-residents who spend a year here in the USA are going to run afoul of the IRS at some point in time. The IRS has a requirement that you obtain a "sailing permit" before you return to your home country, and one of the requirements of the sailing permit is that you show that you filed a tax return here and paid the applicable income taxes.

You didn't earn income here? Doesn't matter; The IRS requires that you report income from all sources. Believe me, we've filed and paid taxes in two countries in the same year. The UK and the US have a tax treaty that's meant to prevent you paying double taxes, but we can speak from experience that it's a rocky road.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 01:26:00 AM by Tom »
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Wendy

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2008, 12:00:55 PM »
You didn't earn income here? Doesn't matter; The IRS requires that you report income from all sources. Believe me, we've filed and paid taxes in two countries in the same year. The UK and the US have a tax treaty that's meant to prevent you paying double taxes, but we can speak from experience that it's a rocky road.

Double taxation without representation (or something like that) .... isn't that one of the reasons we separated from you Brits 200+ years ago? And now we're doing it to foreign nationals?


Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2008, 12:28:50 PM »
Wendy,

It happened to us almost 30 years ago. We eventually got our tax back from the UK after countless letters, but it took a couple of years. I immediately reported it as income to the IRS (kinda like we do with state tax refunds, but you jave a limited number of days in which to report it), and enclosed a check for the tax on that "income". Then the IRS proceeded to hound us as if we were tax avoiders.

After numerous exchanges of letters between the IRS and our CPA, we received a certified letter telling us they were about to take property away from us. I spent a couple of hours on the phone with the regional IRS office and finally was told they'd fixed their error. I immediately called the CPA and sent him to the local IRS office where he discovered it hadn't been fixed.

The guy took care of it while the CPA was there, then said "If Mr Jones hadn't been so honest, we would not have known about the refund from the UK, he wouldn't have had to pay all that additional tax, and we wouldn't have hounded him".
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 12:33:25 PM by Tom »
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Jeff

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2008, 02:23:03 PM »
Caerl:

As Ned mentioned, Oregon requires an Oregon DL to register a vehicle and to get a DL it requires proof of residency including a copy of a utility bill, etc. They are quite adamant about it.

Carl L

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2008, 04:02:12 PM »
Caerl:

As Ned mentioned, Oregon requires an Oregon DL to register a vehicle and to get a DL it requires proof of residency including a copy of a utility bill, etc. They are quite adamant about it.

For non-resident foreigners with a foreign passport?  Could be but I suspect there are code sections that provide for them.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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UK_Al

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2008, 09:07:55 PM »
I can confirm Jeff's reply. I contacted Oregon Vehicle registation section and they said a drivers license is a must and you cannot get that without a fixed residence. They were not very helpful in finding a way around their regulations for a foreign national who wants to support Oregon trade by buying a vehicle in their state and using it - so we went the Montana route. No problems so far but we register in a few days!

nathanwebb

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2008, 04:41:13 AM »
Ian - Thank you for the well wishes :)  We're hoping that we will have a great time!

Tom - I think you're absolutely right - we didn't think too much about tax before planning this trip, and by good luck we'll end up spending less than 180 days in the US - another 3 months in Canada and Mexico to make up the full time in North America.  Had it been longer than that, and we'd be facing another headache!  We've already had an experience of working overseas, so we are familiar with the general rules, but the IRS takes it to another degree!

Al - I'm dying to know what you have done with Montana.  Did you go through an LLC?  I didn't think I would need that, as we don't have residence in any state at the moment.  Can you tell me (and probably all of us) what you needed to do, any restrictions, and if you manage to get your registration?

Thanks.
Nathan

UK_Al

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2008, 10:16:04 PM »
Nathan,

Well we have managed to purchase our rig. It is registered temporarily in Ohio where we bought it, or rather our Montana LLC bought it. It is now in process  of being registered through our LLC in Montana and we should get all the paperwork and the plates through in a week or so.

Not only did we get a good deal in Ohio, we saved paying any sales tax by using the Montana LLC route. We set up a Montana LLC using New Horizon RV but there are several companies who do the same thing. Since we are not US residents or citizens we have no problems with our state of residence (the UK), we used a UK drivers license plus an International Drivers License, which is needed in the USA and our UK passport number served as equivalent to a US Social Security Number to get temporary registration.

I understand that US citizens can have problems with this route as their "home state" may view the Montana LLC as a tax evasion loophole, but as a non US citizen this does not affect us as we have no residence in the US. Can't see why it should not work for any foreign national. Of course it costs about $850 to set up the company so this has to be offset against any potential sales tax saving.

Insurance costs as far as I can judge are no different between Montana and Texas, the only comparison I made - can't see any other state insurance being much different. For what its worth we went with Progressive but Explorer had a similar deal.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Alan

Ian H

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2008, 06:21:12 AM »
HI AL
so what did you buy?
Ian and Doreen
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UK_Al

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2008, 09:14:36 PM »
Damon Daybreask 2008. Now insured and registered just awaiting delivery of our Montana plates.

Nathan

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2008, 01:32:07 PM »
Nathan

we've registered and insured our motorhome and toad thru an LLC in Montana, easy to do, no need to go there to do it.   Oregon is absolutely out unless you have a fixed permanent residence there; if Tom doesn't mind me doing this, e-mail John Bennett at bennett@bennettlawofficepc.com - he just called me to say he's putting my new registration plates on overnight delivery tonight.   

Terry (flying back to UK tonight from Seattle, back end of June)

UK_Al

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2008, 08:50:28 PM »
All paperwork done and dusted. Plates fixed to vehicle and we are enjoying our trip. No problem at all.

Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2008, 08:30:09 AM »
Congratulations Alan. Where are you headed?
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Jeremy Hill

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2008, 09:38:27 AM »
Hello Alan

I was looking at your postings in RC Forum, and was compelled to register. My wife and I who live in the UK are planning a trip from January for about 6 months and would like to purchase a new class A. Obviously we would like to do this with the least amount of tax etc., and I can see from your posts that you may have found a way to do this. I am in the US at the moment looking at RV's and tow cars, so would really appreciate your help.

Many thanks

Jeremy Hill

Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2008, 12:29:06 AM »
Jeremy,

Be sure to check out the Visitors to the USA area of our library.
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RVOA

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2008, 03:53:56 PM »

Hi Jeremy

Please take a look at the Library, as mentioned by Tom.

The first thing I would say, is that you MUST be out of the EU for 12 months before you can claim the tax-free allowances.

Good Luck

Paul
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derbyflan

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2008, 06:07:01 PM »
Hi Jeremy,

Please be sure to report back on your progress.

We're about 6 months behind you ;)

RVOA

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2008, 01:09:45 AM »

Quote
The first thing I would say, is that you MUST be out of the EU for 12 months before you can claim the tax-free allowances.

Sorry, I was refering to tax free import into the UK.

I believe you are refering to tax free purchase in the US - in which case you will want to go down the LLC route (as long as your purchase is above a certain $$).

Paul
Paul

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woodpidgeon

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2008, 09:28:33 AM »
This is probably a silly question but is sales tax applied just to new vehicles or does it apply to used rigs as well?

Tom

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2008, 09:31:15 AM »
Here in California sales tax is levied on both new and used vehicles. Sales tax is collected by the dealer or, if you buy from a private party, the sales tax is collected by the DMV when you change the title to reflect your ownership.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 09:32:47 AM by Tom »
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woodpidgeon

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2008, 09:59:53 AM »
Thanks Tom

I am retiring next year and will be hoping to make a couple of extended visits a year for a couple of years.  Thanks for your prompt reply. I am sure to have other questions as my research progresses 

Ned

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2008, 11:12:20 AM »
Another difference in sales tax handling that varies by state is when you purchase from a dealer with a trade in.  Some state will tax on the gross sales price while others will tax on the net (after trade in).
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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2007 GMC Canyon

Ron

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2008, 11:15:48 AM »
Some states such as Montana, Oregon, and New Hampshire have no sales tax.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

BernieD

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2008, 01:35:58 PM »
There is no uniformity in how states charge and collect sales tax. Here in AZ, if you buy from a dealer, you pay the tax, if you buy from an individual, you don't.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Wendy

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Re: Registering an RV as a non-resident
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2008, 07:06:27 PM »
In Colorado, you pay sales tax on the purchase price of vehicle purchases, new or used. And in most cities and counties, there's also additional sales tax for those entities.
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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Auzzi

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Re: Auzzi who has done the 90 stay and bought RV and tow car
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2011, 06:27:30 PM »
[From One Auzzi to another.
Go the llc in Montana route
The insurance issue mentioned will be applied because you dont have a US licence. Unless you can find some company that will accomadate you, !!  Progressive they are not!!   Try Good Sam??
So do your research into which LLC provider suits you.
Then when you get the purchase sorted , they will post the plates etc .  Then contact an RV park in Montana , this gives you a Montana address, or use a PO box( not acceptable in some states.)  Get yourself a Montana drivers licence at the RV park address, if the insurance premiums are horrendous ( which some companies are).
We are going back to do it again but for 2 years , we have to leave each 3 months, but you can stay in Canada for 5 months, if you can judge the weather!
It does all work and you have no issues with Taxes etc from other states, as you are not a resident of any other State

 

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