CA – Taxpayers were liable to pay tax for their vehicle – LawsonTax

Taxpayers were liable to pay California use tax on the purchase price of their vehicle purchased from outside the state because the law does not allow relief from tax based on allegedly erroneous oral advice received from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In this matter, the taxpayers conceded that the vehicle was purchased for use in California. However, the taxpayers argued that the DMV advised them that use tax would not be due on the vehicle because they had previously paid tax in Canada, prior to entry into California and, therefore, they should not be penalized for their reasonable reliance on statements made by the DMV. Further, the taxpayers argue that if the DMV had properly advised them at the time of registration that the vehicle was subject to use tax in California, the taxpayers could have immediately returned the vehicle to Canada and not used it at all in this state, thereby avoiding any tax liability. However, the Office of Tax Appeals noted that they did not have there was no authority in the law that allowed relief from tax based on allegedly erroneous oral advice received from the DMV. Accordingly, the taxpayers were liable to pay the tax on the vehicle. Bruno, California Office of Tax Appeals, No. 18011959 and 18011960, November 1, 2019, released February 2020

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