Maine: Sales Tax Handbook
What purchases are exempt from the Maine sales tax?
While the Maine sales tax of 5.5% 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
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:
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":
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.
|Food and Meals|
|Grocery Food||EXEMPT *|
|Manufacturing and Machinery|
|Utilities & Fuel||EXEMPT *|
|Medical Goods and Services|
|Newspapers and Magazines|
|General Occasional Sales||EXEMPT *|
|Optional Maintenance Contracts|
|General Optional Maintenance Contracts||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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