If a Massachusetts resident or a nonresident needs to register a boat, snow mobile or other recreational off-highway vehicle, they are required to show proof of payment of the Massachusetts sales or use tax as part of the application process.
Motor vehicle sales or use tax is due by the 20th day of the month following the purchase, use, storage, or any other consumption within Massachusetts.
If you make your purchase outside of Massachusetts and bring it into Massachusetts within 6 months for permanent use, a use tax is due by the 20th day of the following month when your purchase entered Massachusetts.
For example, if you purchased a boat in New Hampshire on January 1st and brought it into Massachusetts on June 30 of that same year, a use tax would be due by July 20th.
Keep in mind:
- Generally, if you paid a sales tax of 6.25% or more to another state, you would not have to pay a use tax to Massachusetts. See TIR 03-1 for more information.
- If you paid less than a 6.25% sales tax to another state and registered your purchase with that state, you would owe the difference to Massachusetts if your purchase was brought into Massachusetts for permanent use within 6 months.
Paying sales or use tax
The ST-6 also lets you pay your use tax, which you’re required to do by the 20th day of the month following the purchase, use, storage, or any other method of operating your boat, recreational off-highway vehicle or snow vehicle within Massachusetts.
Please note: Online MassTaxConnect ST-6 or ST-6E filers immediately receive a receipt once you have paid your sales or use tax or are exempt. This receipt is required when you register with the Massachusetts Environmental Police’s Boat, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) and Snowmobile Registration Bureau.
Massachusetts General Laws requires the registration of any boat, recreational off-highway vehicle or snowmobile in accordance with the provisions of the law (G.L. c. 90B) before use. The Massachusetts Environmental Police’s Boat, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) and Snowmobile Registration Bureau is responsible for the registration of both boats and vehicles.
Generally an owner needs to present the following types of documentation as part of their application to the Boat, OHV and Snowmobile Registration Bureau:
- Copy of bill of sale
- Copy of Form ST-6 (certificate of payment of sales or use tax)
- Copy of Form ST-6E (claim for exemption from sales or use tax)
- Copy of the Massachusetts certificate of registration or title from the Registry of Motor Vehicles if the vehicle is currently or was previously registered; or
- Copy of a previously issued certificate of registration from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Office of Law Enforcement (Boat, Off-Highway Vehicle, and Snowmobile Registration Bureau)