Vehicle Taxability - Leasing & Dealers

Leasing and Auto Dealer Transactions

When buying a vehicle from an auto dealer, there are many options available to the consumer.  Here we will provide information on how the sales tax applies to the different transactions that may occur.



A lease is any transfer of the possession or control of tangible personal property for a fixed or indefinite term, for consideration. Leases include future options to purchase or extend, and agreements where the amount of consideration may be increased or decreased by reference to the amount realized upon the sale or disposition of the property.

The link below will take you to a memo drafted by the Ohio Department of Taxation explaining how leases of motor vehicles are taxed.

Leasing Memo


Sales to Non-Residents of Ohio

Sales made in Ohio to a non-resident of Ohio that will be immediately removed from this state are generally exempt from Ohio sales tax.  Sales of motor vehicles that will be immediately removed to Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and South Carolina are the only sales that are the exception to this rule.  Please see the Information Release for details.


The below chart can be used for a quick guide on how to calculate sales tax for these states:




Sales Tax Rate

Trade-In Allowance

Special Provisions



Yes –New and Used








Yes- New and Used




Yes-New and Used

Nonresident exemption for RVs and trailers with a load capacity of at least 2200 pounds



Yes-New and Used






South Carolina


Yes-New and Used

Tax cap of $300.00


Frequently Asked Questions Tool

The Ohio Department of Taxation has compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering many different categories.

To view the questions, click on the "Select Category" bar and then click on  the category you are interested in.  A list of questions will appear pertaining to that category. Then click on the question you are inquiring about and the answer will appear.

Are auto dealers entitled to refunds when a vehicle is returned or repurchased

Yes, if a customer returns a vehicle and the dealer refunds the entire purchase price, including sales tax.  If the vehicle is returned before the dealer files the tax return for the month in which the sale occurred, the dealer does not report the sale on its tax return.  Otherwise, the dealer must file a refund claim on form ST-AR, available on our Web site at Tax Forms.