Massachusetts: Sales Tax Handbook
Massachusetts Sales Tax Rate
|State Sales Tax||Local Sales Tax Range||Average Local Tax||Average Combined Tax||Max Combined Tax|
2016 Massachusetts Sales Tax Handbook
Massachusetts Table of Contents
- List of Local Sales Tax Rates
- Sales Tax Calculator
- Sales Tax Exemption Certificates
- Sales Tax Info For Businessowners
- Taxable vs. Non-Taxable Purchases
- Sales Tax on Cars & Vehicles
- More Information
Massachusetts' Sales Tax By The Numbers:
Massachusetts has a higher-than-average state sales tax rate, but the actual sales tax rates in most Massachusetts cities are lower than average when compared to states that allow localities to collect sales taxes (Massachusetts does not).
Rankings by Average State + Local Sales Tax:
Ranked 28th highest by combined state + local sales tax
Ranked 38th highest by per capita revenue from state + local sales taxes ($767 per capita)
Rankings by State Sales Tax Only:
Ranked 6th highest by state sales tax rate
Ranked 26th highest by per capita revenue from the statewide sales tax ($777 per capita)
Printable PDF Massachusetts Sales Tax Datasheet
Massachusetts has a statewide sales tax rate of 6.25%, which has been in place since 1966.
Unlike many other states, Massachusetts doesn't allow municipal governments to collect a local option sales tax. Therefore, sales tax rates will be the same across the entire state.
This page provides an overview of the sales tax rates and laws in Massachusetts. If you are a business owner and need to learn more about things like getting a sales tax permit, filing a sales tax return, or making tax-exempt purchases for resale see the Massachusetts Sales Tax Handbook's Table of Contents above.
What is exempt from sales taxes in Massachusetts?
Many states have special sales tax rates that apply to the purchase of certain types of goods, or fully exempt them from the sales tax altogether. Here's how Massachusetts taxes five types of commonly-exempted goods:
For more details on what types of goods are specifically exempt from the Massachusetts sales tax see Massachusetts sales tax exemptions. To learn more about what types of transactions are subject to the sales tax to begin with, see what purchases are taxable in Massachusetts? Taxation of vehicle purchases in particular are discussed in the page about Massachusetts' sales tax on cars.
Are services subject to sales tax in Massachusetts?
"Goods" refers to the sale of tangible personal property, which are generally taxable. "Services" refers to the sale of labor or a non-tangible benefit. In Massachusetts, specified services are taxable.
About the Massachusetts Sales Tax
The state of Massachusetts has relatively simple statewide sales tax. However, in addition to the flat state tax rate, there are many county or local city taxes, which will vary significantly depending on which jurisdiction you are in. Some localities also have additional 0.75% local sales taxes applicable to prepared meals.
Clothing costing under $175 per item is fully exempt from the state sales tax rate (with items over $175 only being taxes on the amount exceeding the $175 exclusion). Liquor used to be subject to the state sales tax, but this tax was repealed as of 2010.
Is the Massachusetts Sales Tax Destination-Based or Origin-Based?
Massachusetts is a destination-based sales tax state, which means that sales tax rates are determined by the location of the buyer when the transaction is completed. This means that, for orders placed via the internet/mail by a customer within Massachusetts from a Massachusetts vendor, the vendor must collect a sales tax rate applicable at the buyer's address (including any applicable local sales taxes). This can significantly increase the complication of filing your sales tax return, because different sales tax rates must be charged to different buyers based on their location.
Is Massachusetts a Streamlined Sales Tax State?
Massachusetts is not a member of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. The SSUTA is an agreement adopted by about half of states that ensures that their sales tax laws are simplified to lower the costs associated with compliance.
Contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue
The Massachusetts Sales Tax is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. You can learn more by visiting the sales tax information website at www.mass.gov.
Phone numbers for the Sales Tax division of the Department of Revenue are as follows:
- Local Phone: (617) 887-MDOR
- Toll-Free Phone: (800) 392-6089
Learn More: Our Book Recommendations
If you would like to learn more about how to manage your Massachusetts sales taxes, we recommend the following books:
Simplify Massachusetts sales tax compliance! We provide sales tax rate databases for businesses who manage their own sales taxes, and can also connect you with firms that can completely automate the sales tax calculation and filing process. Click here to get more information.
Massachusetts Sales Tax Rates by Zip Code:
Need an updated list of Massachusetts sales tax rates for your business? Download our Massachusetts sales tax database!