This information is not current and is being provided for reference purposes only
Application of Sales and Use Taxes to Vessels
Purpose: This Policy Statement explains the exemption for sales of vessels to nonresident purchasers from sales and use taxes and describes the procedures for nonresident purchasers to purchase vessels tax exempt.
This Policy Statement also describes the exclusions from sales and use taxes for repair and maintenance services to vessels and fabrication labor on existing vessels.
This Policy Statement clarifies that sales of boat trailers to nonresident purchasers are exempt.
Sales of Vessels
Sales to Residents. Sales of vessels to Connecticut residents are subject to 6% tax. Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-430(4) provides a trade-in credit for a vessel traded in to a retailer of vessels toward the purchase of another vessel. The tax is computed on the difference between the sales price of the vessel being purchased and the trade-in amount allowed on the vessel purchased. The trade-in must occur at the same time as the sale and purchase.
Sales to Nonresidents. Sales of vessels to nonresidents are exempt from tax under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(60) if:
The nonresident does not maintain a permanent place of abode in Connecticut;
The vessel is not registered or required to be registered with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles; and
The nonresident gives the retailer CERT-125, Sales and Use Tax Exemption for a Motor Vehicle or Vessel Purchased by a Nonresident of Connecticut. (Editor's Note: CERT-125 has been replaced by CERT-139 for purchases of vessels by nonresidents. 1/06)
This exemption applies to individuals and to corporations, partnerships, and other business entities if the individual or business entity meets each of the requirements stated above.
Nonresident means a resident of another state or a foreign country who does not maintain a permanent place of abode in Connecticut.
Permanent place of abode means a dwelling place (a building or structure where a person can live) permanently maintained by an individual (whether or not the individual permanently resides there), whether or not owned by or leased to the individual, and generally includes a dwelling place owned by or leased to his or her spouse. The place of abode need not be the individual’s legal or primary residence.
A partnership, corporation, or other business entity may qualify for this exemption only if:
The entity maintains no Connecticut situs and owns no fixed assets located in this state, and
No partner, officer, or member of the entity, and no operator of the vessel maintains a permanent place of abode in Connecticut.
Vessel Brokers: Vessel broker services are taxable sales agent services under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-407(a)(37)(S) if rendered to the seller of the vessel. A commission a seller of a vessel pays to a broker for locating a buyer is subject to 6% tax when the sale of the vessel actually results and the title to the vessel transfers in Connecticut. Vessel broker commissions paid by purchasers are not taxable.
Repair and Maintenance Services to Vessels: Repair and maintenance services to vessels are exempt from tax. Providers of repair and maintenance services must separately state charges for repair and maintenance services from charges for integral parts on the bill to the customer. The sales of integral parts are subject to 6% tax. Any additional fees, such as hourly or flat rates, minimum charges or mileage charges, are charges for repair and maintenance services and are not taxable.
Repair services mean mending or bringing back to working order or operating condition a vessel that is broken, damaged, malfunctioning, or defective. Repair services include repair work on any part of a vessel even if performed in a separate location from the vessel itself. Repair services to vessels include but are not limited to repairs to sails, sail covers, boat awnings, masts, inboard motors, and outboard motors.
Maintenance services mean sustaining or maintaining safe, efficient, or continuous operation of a vessel or keeping a vessel in good working order. Maintenance services include maintenance work on any part of a vessel even if performed in a separate location from the vessel itself. Maintenance services to vessels include but are not limited to services such as shrink wrapping, washing, painting, staining, varnishing, and polishing vessels.
Integral part means a part such as a mast, motor, motor part, or gauge that retains its separate identity even after being incorporated into the vessel undergoing repair or maintenance. The term integral part does not include a material such as lubricant, stain, paint, varnish, polish, wire, solder, or glue that does not retain its separate identity after repair or maintenance services to the vessel.
However, businesses that do not specialize in vessel repairs should obtain a copy of their customer’s vessel registration to prove the item being repaired is part of a vessel. The copy of the vessel registration should be attached to a copy of the customer’s bill or invoice and retained with the service provider’s records. For example, if a customer brings a radio or radar equipment used on a vessel to a repairer that does not specialize in vessel repairs, a copy of the vessel registration is sufficient documentation to support the exemption for repair and maintenance services to vessels.
Boat Trailers: Sales of boat trailers to nonresidents are exempt under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(60) as sales of motor vehicles. Repair and maintenance services to boat trailers are subject to 6% tax. The sale of integral parts for boat trailers is also subject to 6% tax.
Any additional charge for integral parts a customer is required to pay under the terms of a maintenance, repair, or warranty contract to service a vessel is taxable. However, any additional charge for repair or maintenance services performed on a vessel a customer is required to pay under the terms of a maintenance, repair, or warranty contract is not taxable.
Maintenance contract means a contract for maintenance service to be performed to a vessel in the future.
Repair contract means a contract for repair services to be performed to a vessel that is broken, damaged, defective, or malfunctioning when the parties enter into the contract.
Fabrication labor means labor to customize an existing vessel or assemble components onto an existing vessel for a customer who furnishes, either directly or indirectly, the materials for the vessel. Fabrication labor also means labor to customize an existing vessel or assemble components onto an existing vessel when the fabricator also sells the materials used to fabricate the vessel to the customer. Existing vessel means a vessel owned by the customer before the labor is performed to it.
Affidavit-16a-5, Vessel Purchased Out-Of-State from Connecticut Retailer, remains a valid document for vessels purchased outside Connecticut from Connecticut retailers.
Related Publications: Ask for the current edition of the following publications for more information:
Informational Publication 2004(27), Q & A on Purchases of Motor Vehicles by Nonresidents;
Informational Publication 2005(8), Fisherman's Guide to Sales and Use Taxes and Estimated Income Tax.
For Further Information: Call DRS during business hours, Monday through Friday:
· 1-800-382-9463 (in-state), or
· 860-297-5962 (from anywhere)
Sales and Use Taxes