Pennsylvania: Sales Tax Handbook
What purchases are exempt from the Pennsylvania sales tax?
While the Pennsylvania sales tax of 6% applies to most transactions, there are certain items that may be exempt from taxation. This page discusses various sales tax exemptions in Pennsylvania.
Sales Tax Exemptions in Pennsylvania
Some examples of items which the state exempts from tax charges are certain medical prescriptions, some items used in the agricultural industry, cable television services, meals or foodstuff used in furnishing meals for school children, and newsprint paper.
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 Pennsylvania:
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 Pennsylvania?
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 Pennsylvania sales tax see the Pennsylvania sales taxability FAQ page.
Other tax-exempt items in Pennsylvania
This table lists a number of additional categories of goods and services that are exempt from Pennsylvania's sales tax. For a list that also shows taxable items, see the list of taxable and nontaxable items in Pennsylvania.
|General Clothing||EXEMPT *|
|Food and Meals|
|Grocery Food||EXEMPT *|
|Manufacturing and Machinery|
|Raw Materials||EXEMPT *|
|Utilities & Fuel||EXEMPT *|
|Medical Goods and Services|
|Newspapers and Magazines|
|General Occasional Sales||EXEMPT *|
|Optional Maintenance Contracts|
|Parts Purchased for Use in Performing Service Under 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
Back to Pennsylvania Sales Tax Handbook Top