Closing a Sales Tax Loophole
Susan Riley has never sold a car before. After her husband died in November, she decided downsizing was the best option.
"I'm just trying to have one car and take care of one now," she said. "You know, I'd like to keep the truck but, you know, when there's just one income, you have to do what you have to do."
Riley is one of many Missouri residents who are affected by a new state law requiring car sellers to report a sale within 30 days, or pay a fine of up to $200.
"I hadn't heard about it at all," Riley admitted. "So, I wouldn't even know who to report it to."
But, the new law doesn't surprise one Columbia resident.
"On the buyer's end of it, this law has been in effect for years," said Gred Kinkeade. "But, probably 80% of the people that buy cars commit some sort of tittle fraud by altering the price of the vehicle or the date of the purchase. So, this will make the seller as accountable as the buyer."
Kinkeade says the new law helps everyone, although it may affect him more because he fixes and sells a lot of cars. Some sales are exempt from the reporting requirements: vehicles with salvage titles or junking certificates, repossessed vehicles, vehicles sold to a dealer, vehicles sold to an out-of-state buyer, vehicles given to a beneficiary after a death, vessels, outboard motors and manufactured homes.
You can find notice of sale forms on the Missouri Department of Revenue website. The department says it also will send notice of sale records to county collector and assessor offices.