Leased vehicles are subject to different tax laws than the rules that govern vehicle sales in Texas. People leasing vehicles are still required to pay sales tax, even though the car was not fully purchased. This payment is made when the vehicle is registered at the local county office. In addition, vehicles leased in other states but regularly driven in Texas are also subject to sales tax.
Texas requires that people who lease a vehicle pay sales tax based on the purchase price of the vehicle to the lessor. This is owed to the county tax assessor-collector at the time that the vehicle is registered to the lessor. The lease contract and any regular lease payments are not subject to sales tax.
Purchase at End of Lease
If a lessor decides to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease term, that purchase can also be subject to sales tax. This occurs only if the sale price is determined to be less than fair market value. If it is, that lower amount will be subject to sales tax. Sales tax is not charged on any other finance fees.
Out of State Leases
If a person must pay sales tax if he leases a vehicle from another state but takes the vehicle to Texas with the intent to drive it regularly there and lives in the state. This is also paid at the time it is registered in a Texas county. If the person leasing the vehicle paid sales tax on the lease in another state, the county will give credit for that payment and only require a payment of the difference if a state has a lower sales tax rate than Texas.