Janitorial and Cleaning Services

Charges for cleaning commercial and industrial buildings are subject to Maryland's 6 percent sales and use tax. Specifically included are charges for janitorial services and floor, carpet, wall, window, ceiling and exterior cleaning.

A commercial or industrial building is any building or part of a building used for any purpose other than as a permanent private residence. Included are apartment buildings (other than the interior of individual-occupied apartments), builder model homes, hotels and motels, rental condominiums, retail spaces within retirement communities and residential condominiums that are entirely owned by common ownership, medical facilities, office trailers, parking garages, day care centers, private clubs and shopping centers.

All condominium buildings located in resort areas are presumed to be commercial buildings. Providers of cleaning services must maintain records that individual units are permanent private residences to overcome the presumption that cleaning of those units is taxable commercial cleaning. Acceptable records include a signed statement from the condominium owner or a statement on the company’s invoice that the unit is used as a permanent private residence.

Taxable examples

Examples of taxable services include the following:

  • Restroom maintenance.
  • Sanitizing, deodorizing and disinfecting.
  • Furniture dusting and polishing.
  • Interior trash collection.
  • Floor care, including carpet cleaning.
  • High pressure water cleaning, sandblasting, and chemical cleaning.
  • Construction cleanup.
  • Fire and flood cleanup, including removal of damaged property, soot removal, smoke and odor removal, water extraction performed in connection with other cleaning, and all other cleaning activities, but excluding separately stated charges for reconstruction. Water extraction that is done on an emergency basis and not as a component of other cleaning services is not subject to tax.
Non-taxable examples

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning cleaning charges are not taxable.

Common ownership and Retirement communities

The sales and use tax does not apply to the cleaning of a commercial or industrial building if the building is owned by a common ownership community or retirement community and used for classrooms, dining, exercise, food preparation or cooking, meetings or gatherings, offices used by the common ownership community for management of the community, recreation, security, sports, storage or any other common use. However, the cleaning of spaces within these buildings used as a retail space or for other purposes that requires the collection of sales tax is subject to tax.

Tax collection

Landlords of commercial and industrial properties need not collect any tax on lump-sum rental charges even if they are required to provide janitorial services in connection with the rental. In such cases, the landlord should simply pay the tax on purchases of cleaning services from third party suppliers.

If the landlord makes a separate charge for janitorial services, the tax is applicable to these charges. However, a resale exemption may be claimed if these services are purchased from a third party. See Purchases for Resale. Registration

Providers of commercial or industrial building cleaning services who are not registered to collect the sales and use tax may register for a sales and use tax license online.

If you can't find the information you need in this section, contact us for further assistance.