Hawaii clarifies application of use tax to imported goods.

In response to Baker & Taylor, Inc. v. Director of Taxation, the Hawaii Legislature has amended the definitions of “import” and “purchaser” to clarify that the .5% use tax applies to the purchase of tangible property from an unlicensed seller, regardless of whether the title passed within or outside of Hawaii. The definition of “use” was also amended to include control over tangible property by a seller who directs the import of property into Hawaii, whether the seller is licensed or not, and even if the property is imported into the state for the purposes of sale or resale. The use tax is effective retroactively for tax years beginning after December 31, 1998. (Act 114 (S.B. 2994), Laws, June 2004)

Posted on July 28, 2004