SALT Report 1305 – The Georgia Department of Revenue has issued sales and use tax guidance for watercraft and trailer dealers. Georgia law provides an exemption for “sales of watercraft manufactured or assembled in Georgia and used exclusively outside Georgia when the purchaser takes possession…within Georgia for purposes of removal from the state under their own power when the watercraft cannot reasonably be removed by other means.”
Nonresident purchasers can use Form ST-8 (Nonresident Certificate of Exemption Purchase of Motor Vehicle) to purchase trailers for use on public roads exempt from tax if the trailer will be immediately removed from the state and registered outside the state. The form, however, cannot be used for nonresident purchases of watercraft because watercraft is not considered a motor vehicle. The sale of watercraft or trailers through a person regularly engaged in the sale of these items is not an exempt casual sale.
All watercraft imported into Georgia is subject to use tax. The use tax rate is equal to that of the county in which it is first used or delivered. For trailers imported into Georgia, use tax applies at the rate of the county where it will be registered. However, in either case, credit will be given for sales tax paid to another state. If a watercraft or trailer has been used outside Georgia for more than six months, use tax is due at the fair market value or purchase price, whichever is lower.
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