Taxpayer's Antique Cars Subject to Use Tax in Washington

Monday, April 7th, 2014


The Washington Department of Revenue recently released a determination that a taxpayer's use of antique cars was subject to tax.

The taxpayer purchased two antique cars. Both cars were delivered to the taxpayer in Washington. The taxpayer had the first car inspected and serviced in Washington. He then displayed the car at events both inside and outside Washington. The taxpayer had the second car inspected and repaired in Washington and then shipped it out of Washington. The taxpayer later traded the second car to someone outside Washington.

Washington use tax applies to the use of tangible personal property in Washington. "Use" is an act by which a taxpayer takes or assumes dominion or control over the property.

The Department of Revenue decided that the taxpayer used the cars in Washington before sending them out of state. The taxpayer exercised dominion and control over the cars by having them inspected and serviced in Washington. It did not matter that the taxpayer likely did not drive the cars in Washington. Any act of dominion or control over property was enough to create use tax liability.

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TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

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