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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

taxes

Motor Vehicle Tax Guide

Motor Vehicle Accessories and Equipment Attachments

Motor vehicle tax is due on the total consideration paid or to be paid for a motor vehicle, including all accessories or equipment attachments affixed at the time of sale.

Accessories refers to nonessential tangible personal property attached to a motor vehicle for the convenience or comfort of the operator or passengers, or to assist or aid in the transportation, loading, or unloading of tangible personal property. Examples include a car radio, air conditioner, refrigerator on a meat van, or a concrete mixer.

Equipment attachment refers to a part attached to a motor vehicle which is neither a component, nor an accessory, but which may be cargo that the vehicle transports, such as a welder, crane, compressor, or other type of equipment.

Accessories or equipment attachments affixed to a motor vehicle at the time of purchase are subject to motor vehicle tax. A person may also purchase a motor vehicle separate from any accessories or equipment attachments.

Limited Sales and Use Tax Due at Time of Sale

Accessories or equipment attachments purchased separately from the motor vehicle are subject to limited sales and use tax. The owner of the vehicle can then install or affix these items after the purchase of the vehicle, but before the vehicle is titled and/or registered. Since these accessories or equipment attachments were installed or affixed after the purchase of the vehicle, they are not subject to motor vehicle sales tax and should not be part of the motor vehicle tax base.

Three Situations and Tax Consequences

Three situations can occur with the purchase of a motor vehicle and accessories/equipment attachments:

  • accessories or equipment attachments are affixed to the motor vehicle at the time of sale;
  • accessories or equipment attachments are purchased separately from the motor vehicle; or
  • accessories or equipment attachments are purchased to combine into a homemade or shop-made motor vehicle.

The following sections address each of these situations and the resulting tax consequences.

Accessories or Equipment Attachments Affixed at the Time of Sale

Motor vehicle tax is due on the total consideration or selling price of a motor vehicle with affixed accessories or equipment attachments.

Example

A customer orders a truck with a tool box and grill guard attached from a dealer. The customer pays motor vehicle tax on the truck, the toolbox and the grill guard.

INVOICE
Acme Motors
Item Amount
Crew Cab
Tool Box
Grill Guard
$62,000.00
800.00
1,500.00
Total $64,300.00
Motor Vehicle Sales Tax 6.25 percent $4, 018.75
Final Total $68,318.75

Accessories or Equipment Attachments Purchased Separately

When a buyer purchases a motor vehicle in Texas; and then separately purchases unattached accessories or equipment attachments, motor vehicle tax is due on the motor vehicle’s selling price. Limited sales tax is due on the selling price of the unattached accessories or equipment attachments.

The buyer may purchase the motor vehicle and the accessories or equipment attachments from different sellers or from the same seller at different times. Generally, if the buyer purchases the accessory or equipment attachment and the motor vehicle at the same time from the same seller, it is considered the sale of a motor vehicle with an accessory/equipment attachment, regardless of how the seller prepares the invoices.

When a buyer purchases a motor vehicle with accessories or equipment attachments affixed from out of state, and then brings the completed motor vehicle into Texas for use, motor vehicle tax is due on the selling price paid for both the motor vehicle and accessories or equipment attachments affixed to the motor vehicle. Issuing separate invoices for the truck cab and chassis and the accessories or equipment attachments does not change the taxability of the transaction.

Example 1

Customer purchases accessories to add to a completed truck on which the customer has already paid motor vehicle tax. Customer pays limited sales tax on the purchase of the accessories and any labor to install them by a third party.

INVOICE
Custom Truck Accessories
Item Amount
Grill Guard
Tool Box
$350.00
750.00
Total 1,100.00
Limited Sales Tax 8.25 percent 90.75
Grand Total $1,190.75

Example 2

Customer purchases a truck cab and chassis (see Invoice [A]) and a truck body (see Invoice [B]) from separate sellers and assembles the truck themselves. Customer pays motor vehicle tax on the truck cab and chassis to the selling dealer and pays limited sales tax on the truck body to the seller of the body.

INVOICE (A)
Truck Store
Item Amount
2010 Cab-Chassis $60,000
Motor Vehicle Sales Tax 6.25 percent 3,750
Total $63,750
INVOICE (B)
Welding Supply, Inc.
Item Amount
Flat Bed
Tool Boxes
Welding Rigs
$2,500
800
4,500
Total 7,800
Installation 1,000
Total (before taxes) 8,800
Limited Sales Tax 8.25 percent 726
Grand Total $9,526

Example 3

Customer purchases a truck cab and chassis (motor vehicle) from an out-of-state dealership, and purchases accessories/equipment attachments separately. Customer has accessories and equipment attachments affixed to the motor vehicle and subsequently brings the vehicle into Texas for use in this state. Customer pays motor vehicle tax on the total amount of the motor vehicle and all affixed accessories and equipment attachments at the time of titling and registering the vehicle.

Out-of-State Motor Vehicle
Item Amount
2020 Cab-Chassis $65,500
Accessories/Equipment Attachments
Flat Bed
Tool Boxes
Welding Rigs
 
$5,000
2,000
7,000
Total $14,000
Installation 3,000
Grand Total $82,500
Motor Vehicle Sales Tax 6.25 percent $5,156.25

Accessories or Equipment Attachments Purchased to Combine into a Homemade or Shop-Made Motor Vehicle

When a buyer purchases parts and accessories to be combined into a motor vehicle, and no single part or accessory meets the definition of a motor vehicle, no motor vehicle tax is due when the builder initially titles the vehicle. The purchaser pays limited sales and use tax on all the parts and accessories to the seller.

The only time motor vehicle tax is not due on a homemade or shop-made motor vehicle is when the person who actually built the motor vehicle initially titles it. Once the person who built the motor vehicle has titled or registered it, motor vehicle tax is due on any subsequent sales.

Motor vehicle tax is also due from the person who custom orders a motor vehicle because someone else is the actual builder.


96-254
(09/2021)

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