For local property tax purposes, Texas law requires a motor vehicle dealer’s inventory to be appraised based on the total sales of motor vehicles in the prior year. A dealer must file an annual declaration of total sales from the prior year with their county appraisal district. A dealer must also file a monthly form with the county tax assessor-collector to report motor vehicles sold during the prior month and prepay, to an escrow account, a vehicle inventory tax (VIT) for those sold vehicles.
The VIT is a property tax assessed on the dealer, not the purchaser, and is a negotiable item on the sales agreement. Moreover, the VIT is not, by statute, a part of "total consideration." Dealers may, however, separately list a reimbursement of the VIT on the sales agreement.
For more VIT information, see Publication 96-545, Motor Vehicle Dealer’s Special Inventory (PDF).
If the dealer and seller agree to include a reimbursement of the VIT in the transaction, the VIT reimbursement must be listed separately because it cannot be included in the sales price. Motor vehicle sales tax is not assessed against the separately stated VIT.
The VIT is based on the sales price on Form 130-U, Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (PDF), Box 38, after deducting any rebate, including factory and dealer rebates passed on to the customer. The net sales price in Box 38 is the sales price used for the VIT. For example, if the initial sales price is $20,000 and a $1,000 rebate is available, Box 38 should reflect the $19,000 net figure.