Sales/Use Tax Regarding Bartered, Swapped,
and Financed Vehicles
The taxable price is based on the total considerations (cash, property, services, assumption of seller's debt, etc.) in the transaction. Hence if a vehicle is purchased through other considerations besides money alone (such as through service provided to the transferor), the transferee is taxed on the book value of the vehicle.
When the book values of swapped vehicles are nearly equal, tax is due for both parties based on the average trade-in value. If there is a significant difference in book values, it is assumed some other considerations (cash, service, assumption of debt, etc.) were involved. If parties cannot provide a reasonable explanation for the inequitable exchange, the tax for both is based on the higher book value.
Motor vehicles, motorboats, or snowmobiles may be purchased on the condition that the purchaser "assumes" an existing loan on the vehicle. The tax due to the purchaser is based on the value given directly to the seller plus the value of the loan assumed by the purchaser regardless of the manner in which the purchaser plans to pay off the loan.