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Watercraft Use Tax

Legal References


The tax is imposed on watercraft purchased (or acquired by gift or transfer) from another individual or person or business that is not in the business of selling watercraft at retail. (Sales of watercraft from registered Illinois dealers are taxed under the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act.)

Tax Rate

Use the Use Tax Rate Table in the Tax Rate Database to determine your tax liability.

Form/Filing & Payment Requirements

  • Form RUT-75, Aircraft/Watercraft Use Tax Transaction Return

You may obtain a copy of this form at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources when you register the watercraft. You must submit proof of tax payment or proof of exemption before your watercraft registration will be issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. If you need to obtain the forms prior to registering the vehicle, send us an email request or call our 24-hour Forms Order Line at 1 800 356-6302. Include in your request your name and mailing address and the type of form you are requesting. Note that we cannot email or fax you the requested form. Instead, we will complete your request via the U.S. Postal Service.

This form is due no later than 30 days from the acquisition date or the date the item is brought into Illinois, whichever is later.


  • The use of the watercraft in Illinois is already taxed under the Illinois Use Tax Act. For example, the watercraft is purchased from an out-of-state retailer. This type of transaction is taxed and reported on Form RUT-25, Use Tax Transaction Return. If the watercraft is being leased and is brought into Illinois for title or registration, Form RUT-25-LSE, Use Tax Return for Lease Transactions, must be filed and taxes paid.
  • The watercraft is acquired by a governmental agency or a society, association, foundation, or institution organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, or educational purposes that has been issued an active exemption number by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
  • The watercraft is acquired by an interstate carrier for hire for use as rolling stock to transport persons or commodities in interstate commerce.
  • The watercraft is a gift to a beneficiary in an estate and the beneficiary is the surviving spouse.
  • The temporary storage of a watercraft that was acquired outside of Illinois, and after being brought into Illinois and stored temporarily is removed and used solely outside Illinois.
  • The watercraft is used primarily (more than 50%) in production agriculture. For example, a watercraft used primarily for fish farming.