Vehicle Taxability

All title transfers and exemption claims on motor vehicles and other equipment is regularly audited by the Ohio Department of Taxation in accordance with Ohio Revised Code (RC) 4505.09(B)(2)(c) and 5739.13 to verify if the sales tax liability has been satisfied.

When a motor vehicle title is transferred, the price of the vehicle is reported to a Clerk of Courts Title Office and sales tax is paid on the price of the vehicle.   

 

Key Resources

Casual Sales – These sales are defined as the transfer of a motor vehicle title between two individuals who are not affiliated with a licensed dealership. Learn more here.  

Exemptions & Taxability – Ohio law allows certain vehicle transactions to be made without paying sales tax. Find out more here.

Leasing & Dealer Transactions – This link is for licensed dealerships to obtain more information on the application of sales tax to their transactions including leases.   

Aircraft – The sale of an aircraft may be subject to sales tax. This page will provide additional resources regarding the taxability of aircraft.

Watercraft & Outboard Motors – The transfer of a watercraft or outboard motor is generally taxed in the same manner as motor vehicles. Get the information you need here.

Downloads – Forms, questionnaires, and additional resources can be found on this page. Please click on the download link in order to see a list of available forms to download.

Did you receive a letter from us?  - This link will provide more information on notices that are sent and how best to respond.

 

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.

What is included in the "price" of a motor vehicle when calculating the sales and use tax?

“Consideration” or “price” means the aggregate value in money of anything paid or promised to be paid or delivered in exchange for the transfer of either title to or possession of a motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle, off-highway motorcycle, watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft.  “Price” includes manufacturer’s rebates.

A trade-in allowance reduces the price only if you are purchasing a:

  1. New motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle or off-highway motorcycle; OR
  2. New or used watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft from an Ohio licensed watercraft dealer. 

The sales or use tax is computed upon the total amount of consideration, whether in cash, by exchange (trade) or by any means whatsoever.

The tax base includes all amounts charged for the following:

  1. Base price of vehicle, watercraft or outboard motor.
  2. Accessories (floor mats, mud flaps, air conditioning, cruise control, radio, CD player, etc.).
  3. Freight or transportation charges from the manufacturer to the dealer.
  4. National advertising that may be charged on a unit basis.
  5. Service and handling prior to delivery (preparation charge).
  6. Documentary fees (does not include separately stated title and registration fees or fees associated with the documentation of a watercraft with the U.S. Coast Guard).
  7. Undercoating.
  8. Extended warranty, service or maintenance contracts sold with the vehicle, i.e., as part of the vehicle purchase agreement. (Note: Extended warranties, service or maintenance agreements sold  subsequent to the vehicle’s purchase are subject to sales tax, but tax is paid directly to the vendor of the contract, not through the clerks of courts.)
  9. Delivery charges from the dealer to the customer effective Aug. 2003.

**** Special Notes ****

Manufacturer’s rebates and cash down payments do not reduce the “price” for calculating sales or use tax.  However, “price” is reduced by any cash discount not reimbursed by a third party given at the time of sale.

The 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) levied by the federal government on the purchaser of a heavy truck is not included in the “price” since it is a federal tax on the consumer.

What is included in the "price" of a motor vehicle when calculating the sales and use tax?

“Consideration” or “price” means the aggregate value in money of anything paid or promised to be paid or delivered in exchange for the transfer of either title to or possession of a motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle, off-highway motorcycle, watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft.  “Price” includes manufacturer’s rebates.

A trade-in allowance reduces the price only if you are purchasing a:

  1. New motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle or off-highway motorcycle; OR
  2. New or used watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft from an Ohio licensed watercraft dealer. 

The sales or use tax is computed upon the total amount of consideration, whether in cash, by exchange (trade) or by any means whatsoever.

The tax base includes all amounts charged for the following:

  1. Base price of vehicle, watercraft or outboard motor.
  2. Accessories (floor mats, mud flaps, air conditioning, cruise control, radio, CD player, etc.).
  3. Freight or transportation charges from the manufacturer to the dealer.
  4. National advertising that may be charged on a unit basis.
  5. Service and handling prior to delivery (preparation charge).
  6. Documentary fees (does not include separately stated title and registration fees or fees associated with the documentation of a watercraft with the U.S. Coast Guard).
  7. Undercoating.
  8. Extended warranty, service or maintenance contracts sold with the vehicle, i.e., as part of the vehicle purchase agreement. (Note: Extended warranties, service or maintenance agreements sold  subsequent to the vehicle’s purchase are subject to sales tax, but tax is paid directly to the vendor of the contract, not through the clerks of courts.)
  9. Delivery charges from the dealer to the customer effective Aug. 2003.

**** Special Notes ****

Manufacturer’s rebates and cash down payments do not reduce the “price” for calculating sales or use tax.  However, “price” is reduced by any cash discount not reimbursed by a third party given at the time of sale.

The 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) levied by the federal government on the purchaser of a heavy truck is not included in the “price” since it is a federal tax on the consumer.

What is included in the "price" of a motor vehicle when calculating the sales and use tax?

“Consideration” or “price” means the aggregate value in money of anything paid or promised to be paid or delivered in exchange for the transfer of either title to or possession of a motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle, off-highway motorcycle, watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft.  “Price” includes manufacturer’s rebates.

A trade-in allowance reduces the price only if you are purchasing a:

  1. New motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle or off-highway motorcycle; OR
  2. New or used watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft from an Ohio licensed watercraft dealer. 

The sales or use tax is computed upon the total amount of consideration, whether in cash, by exchange (trade) or by any means whatsoever.

The tax base includes all amounts charged for the following:

  1. Base price of vehicle, watercraft or outboard motor.
  2. Accessories (floor mats, mud flaps, air conditioning, cruise control, radio, CD player, etc.).
  3. Freight or transportation charges from the manufacturer to the dealer.
  4. National advertising that may be charged on a unit basis.
  5. Service and handling prior to delivery (preparation charge).
  6. Documentary fees (does not include separately stated title and registration fees or fees associated with the documentation of a watercraft with the U.S. Coast Guard).
  7. Undercoating.
  8. Extended warranty, service or maintenance contracts sold with the vehicle, i.e., as part of the vehicle purchase agreement. (Note: Extended warranties, service or maintenance agreements sold  subsequent to the vehicle’s purchase are subject to sales tax, but tax is paid directly to the vendor of the contract, not through the clerks of courts.)
  9. Delivery charges from the dealer to the customer effective Aug. 2003.

**** Special Notes ****

Manufacturer’s rebates and cash down payments do not reduce the “price” for calculating sales or use tax.  However, “price” is reduced by any cash discount not reimbursed by a third party given at the time of sale.

The 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) levied by the federal government on the purchaser of a heavy truck is not included in the “price” since it is a federal tax on the consumer.

What is included in the "price" of a motor vehicle when calculating the sales and use tax?

“Consideration” or “price” means the aggregate value in money of anything paid or promised to be paid or delivered in exchange for the transfer of either title to or possession of a motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle, off-highway motorcycle, watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft.  “Price” includes manufacturer’s rebates.

A trade-in allowance reduces the price only if you are purchasing a:

  1. New motor vehicle, all-purpose vehicle or off-highway motorcycle; OR
  2. New or used watercraft, outboard motor or personal watercraft from an Ohio licensed watercraft dealer. 

The sales or use tax is computed upon the total amount of consideration, whether in cash, by exchange (trade) or by any means whatsoever.

The tax base includes all amounts charged for the following:

  1. Base price of vehicle, watercraft or outboard motor.
  2. Accessories (floor mats, mud flaps, air conditioning, cruise control, radio, CD player, etc.).
  3. Freight or transportation charges from the manufacturer to the dealer.
  4. National advertising that may be charged on a unit basis.
  5. Service and handling prior to delivery (preparation charge).
  6. Documentary fees (does not include separately stated title and registration fees or fees associated with the documentation of a watercraft with the U.S. Coast Guard).
  7. Undercoating.
  8. Extended warranty, service or maintenance contracts sold with the vehicle, i.e., as part of the vehicle purchase agreement. (Note: Extended warranties, service or maintenance agreements sold  subsequent to the vehicle’s purchase are subject to sales tax, but tax is paid directly to the vendor of the contract, not through the clerks of courts.)
  9. Delivery charges from the dealer to the customer effective Aug. 2003.

**** Special Notes ****

Manufacturer’s rebates and cash down payments do not reduce the “price” for calculating sales or use tax.  However, “price” is reduced by any cash discount not reimbursed by a third party given at the time of sale.

The 12 percent federal excise tax (FET) levied by the federal government on the purchaser of a heavy truck is not included in the “price” since it is a federal tax on the consumer.