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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 Dealers – Business Expenses

Motor vehicle dealers must pay limited sales and use tax when purchasing marketing and advertising materials and promotional items, and when paying for items or services used in the operation of their business. Motor vehicle dealers cannot issue a resale certificate when purchasing these items or services.

A motor vehicle dealer that holds a sales and use tax permit can issue a resale certificate (PDF) instead of paying sales or use tax when purchasing parts that will be resold as part of a motor vehicle.

Marketing and Advertising Materials

Sales tax is due when a motor vehicle dealer purchases the following:

  • marketing and advertising materials, including
    • banners
    • business cards
    • signs
  • "giveaway" items, including
    • electronics
    • ready-to-eat foods
    • soft drinks
    • televisions

Promotional Items

Sales tax is due on items that a motor vehicle dealer uses to promote their business, including

  • brochures
  • license plate frames
  • medallions
  • service logs
  • trunk dealership emblems
  • window stickers

Sales tax must be paid at the time of purchase for the promotional items. A motor vehicle dealer that holds a sales and use tax permit cannot buy promotional items for resale.

Free Service Promotions

When a motor vehicle dealer provides free maintenance or other services after they sell a vehicle, the motor vehicle dealer owes sales tax on the parts and materials they used to provide those services. For example, if a motor vehicle dealer gives away an oil-change service, the oil, filter, and lubricants are promotional items, and are not resold. The motor vehicle dealer owes sales tax on the parts and materials used for the promotion at the time of purchase.

A motor vehicle dealer that removes parts and materials from their tax-free inventory for use in a promotion must pay use tax on the parts and materials.

Other Business Expenses

A motor vehicle dealer must pay sales tax when purchasing office supplies and equipment they use to operate their business, such as paper, printer toner, ink and labels.

Other taxable business expenses include certain taxable services, such as the following

  • cleaning and janitorial services
  • landscaping and lawn care
  • data processing services
  • information services

Additional Resources

98-778
(05/2020)

HB855 Browser Statement

In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.

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