Registering a car/ sales tax

I am very confused, so if someone can answer my questions SIMPLY, I would be forever grateful.
We are an active duty military family who recently purchased a car in Georgia, our home address is still listed as Colorado. I have talked to the tag/title people in Colorado, and they sent me the required paperwork to fill out (and have the Commander) sign to get my car registered in Colorado instead of Georgia, as we will be returning to Colorado. The dealership is giving me the run around. First they tell me if they can’t do it, then they tell me I will have to buy Georgia plates until the title is mailed to Colorado (got my loan through my bank in Colorado) and then mailed back to Georgia, and back to Colorado. Then I am told I have to come down to the dealership and redo the entire deal papers (I said this is fine, no big deal), then they tell me that I owe an additional $400 and some odd dollars because they charged me incorrectly with my taxes and I owe them the difference, I signed the paper work with the original amount of taxes I thought I owed. Can someone please help me on what steps I can take. The dealership still has not sent the paper work to my credit union or the tag and title people and my tags are due in 8 days.

The dealership only knows how to deal with Georgia. So, you are throwing them a curve ball by titling and registering the car in Colorado, a state they have no experience with or knowledge of.

You pay the sales tax in the state where you register the car, in this case Colorado. You need to find out the sales tax rate in Colorado, and the sales tax rate in Georgia. Perhaps the dealer put the Georgia sales tax on the contract. If the CO sales tax rate is higher than the GA sales tax rate that could be the issue.

I suspect this situation will just get more confusing as the dealership is just going to make one wrong move after another. I think the OP has to carry the ball on this and contact the CO DMV office(s) and handle the paperwork details on this one based on the instructions obtained from the Colorado DMV.

In the end I think you might be best just cancelling the deal and buy a car in Colorado when you return to Colorado. You might want to consider a long term rental if you need a car in GA. You might get a monthly rate from Rent a Wreck that you can live with.

Thank you for your reply! Our area is mostly military families who are stationed here, I know of a few other families who have registered their cars with their home address after they purchased a new car here, so this is why I didn’t think it would be such an issue.

The sales tax in GA and CO are both 7%, but they each gave me different amounts when I asked, with Colorado being a bit cheaper.

I have done all the paper work that the tag and title office of CO has required, they are just waiting on GA to send them the paperwork.

When you say “cancel the deal” do you mean cancel the purchase of the car? I have never bought a car before, so this is all new territory.

I’ve bought cars a state other then the one I was registering it in. The dealer should be able to give you 10-day temporary tags. You pay the sales tax on where you register the car. Luckily here in NH we don’t have a sales tax. I’ve bought 2 cars in MA and registered them in NH. I also bought a car in Tennessee and registered it in NY.

Thank you, Mike. I am not really sure why they are making it such an issue? I just want my license plates!!

The fact that you are military might change some things. My daughter and her husband are military and can register their car where they want, not where they are stationed.

It sounds to me like you need legal advice. Tax laws vary by state, and it may be that Georgia requires sales taxes to be paid on any sale made in Georgia regardless of where it’ll be used. It might also be related to the place of “delivery”. And there may be specific exceptions in the law for active military members.

You need to speak with a lawyer and find out the correct way to handle this. Perhaps the base has legal services available?

By the way, I sincerely thank you for your military service. God bless you and yours.

You need to seek legal assistance from your local SJA and let them help you navigate through this correctly.

If you were in Kansas, the dealer collects Kansas sales tax based on point of sale. If Georgia is the same way, you pay the sales tax to the dealer. In Kansas, no exceptions on a dealer purchase.

On the other hand, in Missouri, you pay no sales taxes until you register the car. So, I buy my car in Missouri and then pay sales taxes when I register the car in Kansas. If I did the reverse, Missouri allows credit for sales tax paid in Kansas and I may or may not need to pay additional sales taxes if the sales tax in Missouri is higher than Kansas.

You first need to find out how Georgia handles sales tax. When you register the car in Colorado, Colorado DMV will also compute sales tax due, and if it is higher than the tax paid in Georgia already, you owe. If Georgia tax is higher than the appropriate Colorado tax, then no issue as far as sales tax is concerned.

You should not have to purchase Georgia plates to get a clean title to send to Colorado. Also have the legal assistance officer find out if Georgia recognizes military non-resident plates, where you title and plate the car in Georgia. I have done this when it was inconvenient to register in my home state. You then later title and register the car in your home state when you PCS from Georgia. Keep in mind that the sales tax issue is really separate from the title and registration issue.

Massachusetts even went to the extreme of tying to force tire sellers in NH to pasy Mass sales tax on any tires installed on cars with Mass plates.

Maine tags NH residents who receive income in Maine to pay income taxes on ALL their income, even that not derived from Maine.

State laws can be insane. You need a lawyer.

Thank you everyone for the replies. I made an appointment with military law office so they can walk me through this, and I won’t end up getting shafted.
the same mountainbike, thanks for the nice comment.

DavidL, sorry but your daughter and her husband cannot register a car where ever they want to. They can only register it in the state that they reside in or their “home of record”. Home of record is where they resided when they joined the military and to register their vehicle in that state, they must maintain some kind connection. Usually they keep their drivers licenses in their home of record to maintain this connection.

I can’t help much but I was going to suggest the JAG office too. I’m wondering if a Georgia CPA though wouldn’t be better able to unravel the tax issues. Somehow the dealer needs to tell Georgia that it did not collect the tax and why, or maybe you have to pay the tax twice, then file with Georgia for a refund. The only car I ever bought out of state was from a private party in Wisconsin. The plates stayed with the seller and I paid the Minnesota tax and license no problem.