NE-TS, nor its members, do not endorse intentionally avoiding paying sales tax on a boat purchase. The following is provided for informational use only.
Massachusetts Sales Tax on Boats
If you purchased a boat in another state and later bring it to Massachusetts, you may or may not be required to pay Massachusetts Sales/Use Tax on the boat.
First, the easy exemption. If you paid Sales Tax in another state AND Massachusetts has a reciprocal agreement with that state, then you pay nothing if you paid more than the Massachusetts tax rate, or you just pay the difference between the rates if you paid less.
Now the complicated part. If you bring the boat into Massachusetts within six months of purchasing, you will have to pay sales tax unless YOU can prove that the boat was not purchased "for use within the Commonwealth". The burden of proof is on you.
If it has been more than six months since you purchased the boat and you bring it into Massachusetts, you will only be required to pay sales tax if Massachusetts can reasonably prove that you purchased the boat "for use within the Commonwealth". At this point, the burden of proof is on the Commonwealth.
Factors that go into proving or disproving are as follows:
1) the residency of the taxpayer; 2) whether there was an intervening use of the property in another state; 3) the length of time between purchase of the property and its use in Massachusetts; 4) an unforeseen change in circumstances occurring after purchase; and, 5) whether the purchaser knew at the time of purchase that the property would be used in Massachusetts. It should be noted that the use tax may apply to non-residents. Furthermore, property need not be used exclusively or even primarily in Massachusetts to be considered purchased for use within the Commonwealth. Towle v. Commissioner of Revenue, 397 Mass. 599, 605 (1986).For more details, see: Mass Boat Sales Tax