Boat Excise Tax

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 60B, Section 2
In accordance with state guidelines, any person who owns a watercraft on July first shall annually, on or before August 1st, file a Boat 2BE1 Form (PDF) with the Board of Assessors of the town where such a vessel is moored or docked, or where it is principally situated. This form is available at the Assessor’s Office. The Town of Ipswich then levies an excise tax of $10 per thousand of valuation.

Guidelines

For the purpose of computing excise tax, the state offers the following guidelines:
  • Excluded from the payment of such excise are vessels engaged exclusively in commercial fishing, with a total value of $10,000 or less, and vessels with a value of $1,000 or less.
  • An abatement may be granted if the boat is sold or otherwise transferred, registered and moved to another state, and the registration is surrendered or is not renewed in Massachusetts. Use Boat Excise Abatement Application (PDF) to file an abatement request, this form is also available at the Assessor’s Office.
  • Assessors must receive excise abatement applications within 3 years after the excise was due, or 1 year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. Timely filing is necessary to preserve the right to an abatement and to appeal. If excise tax remains unpaid after 60 days, the Harbormaster of Ipswich may refuse to allow the vessel to moor or dock within the waterways of Ipswich.