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Author Topic: title and register in Montana??  (Read 2310 times)
thomasinnv
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« on: June 14, 2010, 09:17:00 PM »

I am in the process (hopefully) of closing a deal on a MCI 102A3 which is still titled as a passenger bus.  Does anyone have info or has been there done that about titling/registering in Montana as an RV?  I have an LLC for my ministry already and will title the bus/rv under the LLC.  The conversion will take place over the next few months in Oklahoma, and i am hoping not to have to go to Montana to accomplish the re-title as an rv.  Anyone have any info on the matter?
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 04:54:08 AM »

thomasinnv,

I sent you a PM.

TOM
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 07:06:39 AM »

Thomas, assuming you live full time in the coach and don't have a permanent residence in another state, you will probably be fine.  Especially since you have an LLC that was established for your work and not just a tax dodge.   Not sure of the process.

However, if you have a permanent address in another state, you could be asking for trouble.  Many states have caught on to the fact that they are loosing tax revenue and some have very aggressively gone after folks who park their RV with Montana plate in their home state.  This is not only true of Montana (a state that has really gone after this "business") but other other states that have similar arrangements. 

Jim
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010, 07:55:42 AM »

You will have to have it inspected as a Motorhome in Montana. That will require a trip there.

John
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thomasinnv
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 08:10:41 AM »

Thomas, assuming you live full time in the coach and don't have a permanent residence in another state, you will probably be fine.  Especially since you have an LLC that was established for your work and not just a tax dodge.   Not sure of the process.

However, if you have a permanent address in another state, you could be asking for trouble.  Many states have caught on to the fact that they are loosing tax revenue and some have very aggressively gone after folks who park their RV with Montana plate in their home state.  This is not only true of Montana (a state that has really gone after this "business") but other other states that have similar arrangements. 

Jim

I have a po box in another state for the sole purpose of getting mail, but no physical address, as i do full time.  I already have my current rv and tv titled under the llc so i am familiar with the process, just not familiar with the process of metamorphosing the bus to an rv title.


You will have to have it inspected as a Motorhome in Montana. That will require a trip there.

John

Montana does not require vin inspections, i titled a nevada truck in montana through the mail.  As for the rv inspection, in my internet search for info on this subject i stumbled across Montana motor vehicle form mv95 which can be signed by any government enforcement agency in any state.  Looks like it should be a breeze.
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010, 11:12:39 AM »

I have a po box in another state for the sole purpose of getting mail, but no physical address, as i do full time.  


Bear in mind that you must have a "domicile" -- everyone does.  So even though you full-time, and consider your PO box only "for the sole purpose of getting mail," and possibly your Montana LLC only for the purpose of vehicle registration, if you are not clear with everyone about which state is your domicile, you could be opening yourself up to all manner of legal problems.

There are entire web sites as well as bulletin boards dedicated to this subject (and more than a few threads right here on this board), so I will not repeat all of that here.  But do your homework carefully.  What almost every state disallows is cherry-picking tax policies.  In other words, if your driver license is from one state, but you register your bus in another, get your mail in yet another, and vote in yet another, one or all of those states can come after you for taxes (including back taxes).  There could even be criminal penalties, as there were in Colorado for the residents there who took advantage of Montana LLCs for their vehicles.

Caveat emptor.

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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2010, 11:44:26 AM »

If he is setup as a corporation and the vehicle is in the corporation it does not matter where he has drivers license.
Every truck line in the USA has a PO box in OK for trailer tags.
I never had a problem like you guys are talking about with my bus in the corporation with me having AZ drivers license and plates from Or, best thing for him is talk to his corporate attorney by law he is required to have one 


good luck


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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 12:18:03 PM »

If he is setup as a corporation and the vehicle is in the corporation it does not matter where he has drivers license.


Clifford, that's what the Colorado folks thought, too.  But the state nailed them for tax evasion.

If a state can claim you as a "resident" and you set up an out-of-state LLC to avoid paying state tax, you can be found liable.

Here is the FMCA article on what happened in Colorado:
http://www.fmca.com/index.php/motorhoming/motor-coach-news/311

as we discussed in this thread on "the other board":
http://www.busnut.com/bbs/messages/233/32465.html

-Sean
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2010, 01:11:03 PM »

Sean,I am not talking about taxes I worked all over the USA and had to notify most states I was a xx state corporation legally if the vehicle is in a corp you are not the owner same as trust fwiw in some states you sue the corp and other you have to sue the share holders
I didn't read where the poster`was`asking about taxes it is dumb to try and beat taxes why anyone would not pay corporation taxes is beyond me they are cheap in most states mine was 140.00 per year and I still pay those you are going to pay Federal taxes no matter which state you are from.
There is probably more to it than in the`article the Escapees guys in Texas don't have that problem and I know Texas doesn't have a state income tax




good luck
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2010, 01:20:45 PM »

Sean,I am not talking about taxes ...


Well, OK, but "taxes" is the usual reason why Montana LLCs are used (by non-Montanans) to title and register vehicles.  Which is why I brought it up.

Whether or not it can become a problem for him depends on what other state(s) can claim him as a taxpayer.

-Sean
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2010, 02:09:16 PM »

From what I've read, no personal experience, the most prominent tax people are trying to avoid is sales tax and possibly high registration fees. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2010, 05:27:56 PM »

From what I've read, no personal experience, the most prominent tax people are trying to avoid is sales tax and possibly high registration fees. 


Yes, and those are precisely the taxes which Colorado successfully argued it was owed by many Coloradans who set up Montana LLCs to title their RV's.  It was a big flap when it happened; they actually convicted 12 people of crimes (since those 12 had actually lied on their tax forms that the rigs would not be brought into or used in the state), but collected nearly $3 million in back sales and use taxes from hundreds of others.  Once people found out that they could go to jail, they started forking over the money post haste.

Colorado is only one of several states that are extremely aggressive about this sort of thing.  California is another, having not only some of the highest sales and ad valorem use taxes of any state, but also more stringent emissions rules.  While, in the past, diesel rigs have generally been exempt, for gas rigs, it was not legal for a Californian to even purchase a rig outside of the state unless the rig was equipped with California-certified emissions (so it had to be either a California-specific model, or a "50-state" model; "49-state" models were prohibited).  There was no way around this no matter how much money you were willing to send to the state.  I have since left California, but I believe the new CARB rules pertaining to diesels will mean that this will apply to diesel rigs now as well.

As I wrote in the thread on the other board, states are not to be trifled with on these matters; they have the legal right to attach bank accounts and garnishee wages, even across state lines, and if they believe they are owed a tax that you've avoided, they tend to attach first and ask questions later.  Someone even posted a personal experience in this regard over there; he was in the right, but he still lost money arguing with them over it.

I am not an attorney (or tax adviser), nor do I play one on TV (or the Internet).  So what I tell everyone in this regard is do your own research, or hire competent professionals to handle this for you.  Do NOT believe anything you read here or on other bulletin boards, because they are chock full of misinformation, much of it posted by people who are certain they must be right just because they have gotten away with it (so far).

There are a dozen otherwise normal Coloradans with criminal records now who probably wished they had done just that.

-Sean
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2010, 05:46:39 PM »

Sean,

What you say is also backed up by what I have read.  The CHP actually has a program asking people to turn in neighbors with out-of-state plates.  I think the rule in California is that you are a resident if you do just one of a bunch of different things like work there, vote there, are licensed there, in the state for more than 180 days of a year, etc., etc. 

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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2010, 05:58:07 PM »

From what I've read, no personal experience, the most prominent tax people are trying to avoid is sales tax and possibly high registration fees. 


Yes, and those are precisely the taxes which Colorado successfully argued it was owed by many Coloradans who set up Montana LLCs to title their RV's.  It was a big flap when it happened; they actually convicted 12 people of crimes (since those 12 had actually lied on their tax forms that the rigs would not be brought into or used in the state), but collected nearly $3 million in back sales and use taxes from hundreds of others.  Once people found out that they could go to jail, they started forking over the money post haste.

Colorado is only one of several states that are extremely aggressive about this sort of thing.  California is another, having not only some of the highest sales and ad valorem use taxes of any state, but also more stringent emissions rules.  While, in the past, diesel rigs have generally been exempt, for gas rigs, it was not legal for a Californian to even purchase a rig outside of the state unless the rig was equipped with California-certified emissions (so it had to be either a California-specific model, or a "50-state" model; "49-state" models were prohibited).  There was no way around this no matter how much money you were willing to send to the state.  I have since left California, but I believe the new CARB rules pertaining to diesels will mean that this will apply to diesel rigs now as well.

As I wrote in the thread on the other board, states are not to be trifled with on these matters; they have the legal right to attach bank accounts and garnishee wages, even across state lines, and if they believe they are owed a tax that you've avoided, they tend to attach first and ask questions later.  Someone even posted a personal experience in this regard over there; he was in the right, but he still lost money arguing with them over it.

I am not an attorney (or tax adviser), nor do I play one on TV (or the Internet).  So what I tell everyone in this regard is do your own research, or hire competent professionals to handle this for you.  Do NOT believe anything you read here or on other bulletin boards, because they are chock full of misinformation, much of it posted by people who are certain they must be right just because they have gotten away with it (so far).

There are a dozen otherwise normal Coloradans with criminal records now who probably wished they had done just that.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com




Sean, great to see that humor...hope everyone caught it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2010, 06:26:10 PM »

...  I think the rule in California is that you are a resident if you do just one of a bunch of different things like work there, vote there, are licensed there, in the state for more than 180 days of a year, ...

That is exactly right.  When we moved out of state, we kept property there that is now a rental.  Consequently we must file California tax returns every year (on the rental income), and one question we have to answer every year is how many days we spent in the state.  If we go a day over 180, they want income tax (and probably vehicle use tax as well).

When we lived there, I had good friends who moved to Nevada.  Times got tough and she had to come back to California to work for a while, and she lived with us briefly and her dad mostly, but she kept her car which was now registered in Nevada, where she had both a home and a husband.

After going back and forth to work in that car for a couple months, some motor cop who had been used to seeing her pass him every day finally stopped her.  He asked where she was going and the instant she said "work" he whipped out the ticket book and wrote her a citation.  In California you have only ten days' grace before switching both your vehicle registration and drivers license to California items.  The ten day clock starts when you either move into a residence or start a job.  The fact that she had a legal residence in a different state was no defense.

As I said, California, Colorado, Washington, and several other states are very aggressive about this.  Some states don't care at all,  and still others don't have the solid laws on the books to deal with it.  Many states have the laws and the inclination to deal with it, but no resources for enforcement (something I am also saying often about codes).

-Sean
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