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Illinois tax tidbit: watercraft use tax

Illinois flag I love getting in a boat. It's probably my upbringing in desert West Texas that makes me want to set out on any body of water any chance I get. That's part of the reason I love to visit Chicago.

It's a great city with a wonderful history. And it's perched right there on the shore of Lake Michigan.

In addition to that Great Lake, Illinois is full of other waterways. So it's no surprise that the state makes sure it gets some benefit from the watercraft folks use to enjoy the natural resources.

Obviously when an Illinois resident purchases a boat or other watercraft, sales tax usually applies.

But when folks get a boat via gift, donation, transfer or non-retail purchase, in most instances the new owner of the vessel must pay the state's 6.25 percent use tax, along with any applicable local taxes.

Payment of the watercraft use tax is accomplished by filing Form RUT-75 within 30 days of the acquisition or the date the watercraft is brought into Illinois. The price upon which the tax is figured is is the fair market value on the date the watercraft is acquired or brought into the state.

More details on the watercraft tax can be found in Illinois Aircraft/Watercraft and Vehicle Tax Information Guide.

And as we finally start to thaw out and head to the shores, here's to happy, safe and tax compliant Illinois boating!

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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It applies to purchases made in foreign countries as well as other states. Businesses registered for sales or withholding tax may remit use tax on their returns. Individuals can pay their use tax liability on their MI-1040 tax return. Additional information and instructions on use tax for "Internet "Mail Order and Out-of-State Purchases" may be found in the Michigan Income Tax Booklet.

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