Maine Sales Tax Exemptions / Tax Free Items Maine: Sales Tax Handbook

Maine:

What purchases are exempt from the Maine sales tax?

While the Maine sales tax of 5.50% applies to most transactions, there are certain items that may be exempt from taxation. This page discusses various sales tax exemptions in Maine.

Sales Tax Exemptions in Maine

In Maine, certain items may be exempt from the sales tax to all consumers, not just tax-exempt purchasers.

Several examples of exemptions to the sales tax are most grocery products, certain types of prescription medication, some medical equipment, and certain items which are associated with commerce.

Many states have special, lowered sales tax rates for certain types of staple goods - such as groceries, clothing and medicines. Restaurant meals may also have a special sales tax rate. Here are the special category rates for Maine:


Clothing

  5.5%

Groceries

  EXEMPT

Prepared Food

  7%

Prescription Drugs

  EXEMPT

OTC Drugs

  5.5%

These categories may have some further qualifications before the special rate applies, such as a price cap on clothing items. Groceries are generally defined as "unprepared food", while pre-prepared food may be subject to the restaurant food tax rate.

Candy and soda may be included or excluded from any preferential tax rate depending on whether or not the state considers them to be a "grocery":


Is candy taxable in Maine? Candy is NOT considered a grocery in Maine
Is soda taxable in Maine? Soda is NOT considered a grocery in Maine

Are services, shipping, installation, etc taxable in Maine?

The taxability of transactions involving services, shipping, and installation of tangible goods can be slightly complicated with various laws applying to slightly different situations. To learn more about how these transactions, and other more complicated situations, are subject to the Maine sales tax see the Maine sales taxability FAQ page.


Other tax-exempt items in Maine

This table lists a number of additional categories of goods and services that are exempt from Maine's sales tax. For a list that also shows taxable items, see the list of taxable and nontaxable items in Maine.

Category Exemption Status
Amazon Purchases
Products on Amazon.com EXEMPT
Food and Meals
Grocery Food EXEMPT *
Manufacturing and Machinery
Machinery EXEMPT *
Raw Materials EXEMPT
Utilities & Fuel EXEMPT *
Medical Goods and Services
Medical Devices EXEMPT
Medical Services EXEMPT
Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers EXEMPT *
Periodicals EXEMPT *
Occasional Sales
General Occasional Sales EXEMPT *
Optional Maintenance Contracts
General Optional Maintenance Contracts EXEMPT *
Services
Janitorial Services EXEMPT
Transportation Services EXEMPT
Software and Digital Products
Custom Software - Delivered on Tangible Media EXEMPT
Custom Software - Downloaded EXEMPT

* See notes in category taxability page for details



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Source: http://www.salestaxhandbook.com/maine/sales-tax-exemptions