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Old 08-06-2012, 09:15 PM
106 posts, read 195,867 times
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I've done research on this online recently, but see widely conflicting information. I'm hoping perhaps someone here can help out.

If one lives in Tennessee but buys a new car from another state, how does the sales tax work?

I'm looking to purchase a car. In my searching I saw that South Carolina charges a flat (maximum) sales tax of $300 on car purchases. Does that mean I can purchase the vehicle in SC, pay $300, and be "done" as far as taxes go? Will I have to pay some kind of Tennessee tax? When I register the vehicle in TN am I going to be hit with a big bill?

Obviously when TN tax is close to 10% on a new car, this is potentially a pretty big price differential.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:59 PM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,990 posts, read 49,429,600 times
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If the sales tax in GA is less than in TN, you will have to pay the difference.


See page 19.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:46 AM
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,890 posts, read 4,297,522 times
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You DO have to pay TN tax to get it registered in TN. If the car dealership is somewhat close to TN and is used to people from TN buying there they'll probably handle everything in-house. You pay the TN taxes at the time you buy the car. I recently bought a new car in GA and everything was handled on-site. When I got my tag everything was already covered.

I don't know about NC law, but I did NOT have to pay GA sales tax. If you do have to pay NC tax, you don't have to double-pay. Any amount you pay to NC can be credited toward your TN tax bill.

Also, cars are subject to the "Single Article" tax rate, so you don't pay the full 9.25% (or whatever it is in your county). In Hamilton County the local rate is 2.25% on top of the state rate of 7%. According to Single Article Rules, the entire value is taxed at the state rate of 7%. Only the first $1600 is taxed at the local rate ($36 for 2.25%, $44 for 2.75%). In addition you have a state tax of 2.75% for the next $1600 (another $44).

If you register a car in Sullivan County (2.25%), you'll pay $80 + 7% of the total value. If you register in Hawkins County (2.75%) it'll be $88 + 7%.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:44 PM
Location: Hometown of Jason Witten
5,985 posts, read 3,895,979 times
Reputation: 1920
The last time I bought a car the sales tax was 8%. But we eased the pain by including it in the amount financed.
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