Sales and Use Tax Information

The sale of tangible personal property is generally taxable except as otherwise provided by law; the sale of a service is generally not taxable except for certain taxable services provided by law. For example, food sold in grocery stores and prescription medicines are generally not taxable. Furthermore, there are no additional sales taxes imposed locally in Maryland.

Use Tax Information

Every time you purchase taxable tangible goods or alcoholic beverages, whether in person, over the phone, or on the Internet, the purchase is subject to Maryland's 6 percent sales and use tax on goods and 9 percent alcoholic beverages tax on alcohol if you use the merchandise in Maryland. 

When you purchase goods from businesses located outside of Maryland, they are not required to collect Maryland's sales tax unless they have a physical location, or deliver services, in Maryland. Also, you are not required to pay the sales tax in the state where the business is located. However, you are required to pay the 6 percent use tax  or the 9 percent alcoholic beverage tax directly to the Comptroller of Maryland by filing the consumer use tax return.

Temporary Sales and Use Licenses

Individuals who do not have a permanent sales tax license are required to obtain a temporary license and collect a 6 percent  or 9 percent  sales and use tax for sales at various events such as craft shows and fairs.  To obtain a temporary license call 410-767- 1543 or 410-767-1531.  The temporary license lasts for 30 days. 

Additional Sales and Use Tax Information

For additional information about the specifics of certain types of sales rates, fees and exemptions, visit the following two sections in the sales and use tax section for businesses:

Special Situations

Tax Exemptions

Tax Rates

Effective January 3, 2008, the Maryland sales and use tax rate is 6 percent, as follows:

  • 1 cent on each sale where the taxable price is 20 cents.
  • 2 cents if the taxable price is at least 21 cents but less than 34 cents.
  • 3 cents if the taxable price is at least 34 cents but less than 51 cents.
  • 4 cents if the taxable price is at least 51 cents but less that 67 cents.
  • 5 cents if the taxable price is at least 67 cents but less than 84 cents.
  • 6 cents if the taxable price is at least 84 cents.

On each sale where the taxable price exceeds $1.00, the tax is 6 cents on each exact dollar, plus:

  • 1 cent if the excess over an exact dollar is at least 1 cent but less than 17 cents.
  • 2 cents if the excess over an exact dollar is at least 17 cents but less than 34 cents.
  • 3 cents if the excess over an exact dollar is at least 34 cents but less than 51 cents.
  • 4 cents if the excess over an exact dollar is at least 51 cents but less than 67 cents.
  • 5 cents if the excess over an exact dollar is at least 67 cents but less than 84 cents.
  • 6 cents if the excess over an exact dollar is at least 84 cents.

Download our sales and use tax rate chart.

Special rates and situations

An 11% percent tax is imposed on short-term passenger car and recreational vehicle rentals. Certain short-term truck rentals are subject to an 8 percent tax.

The 6 percent tax rate is applied to a portion of the sale of new mobile homes and modular buildings, as well as a portion of the gross receipts from vending machine sales.

The 9 percent tax rate is applied to sales of alcoholic beverages. Reference the Alcoholic Beverage Tax Rate Chart-9% for details.

See the Special Situations section for more information.

Sales and Use Tax Regulations

The following links offer summaries of Maryland tax legislation that was passed during the 2011 session of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley. All references are to the Tax-General Article (TG), Annotated Code of Maryland, unless otherwise noted. For information about other tax legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's Web site.

Sales and Use Tax

See the Legislative Summaries below and then choose the year of legislation.

2017 Legislative Summary

The following links offer summaries of Maryland tax legislation that was passed during the 2017 session of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. All references are to the Tax-General Article (TG), Annotated Code of Maryland, unless otherwise noted. For more information on tax legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's Web site.

2016 Legislative Summary

The following links offer summaries of Maryland tax legislation that was passed during the 2016 session of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Hogan. All references are to the Tax-General Article (TG), Annotated Code of Maryland, unless otherwise noted. For more information on tax legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's Web site.

2015 Legislative Summary

The following links offer summaries of Maryland tax legislation that was passed during the 2015 session of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Hogan. All references are to the Tax-General Article (TG), Annotated Code of Maryland, unless otherwise noted. For more information on tax legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's Web site.

2014 Legislative Summary

The following links offer summaries of Maryland tax legislation that was passed during the 2014 session of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley. All references are to the Tax-General Article (TG), Annotated Code of Maryland, unless otherwise noted. For more information on tax legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's Web site.

The following links offer summaries of Maryland tax legislation that was passed during the 2013 session of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley. All references are to the Tax-General Article (TG), Annotated Code of Maryland, unless otherwise noted. For more information on tax legislation, visit the Maryland General Assembly's Web site.

INCOME TAX
Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2013) Bill Title
Senate Bill 243 Chapter 213 Maryland Income Tax Refund - AA County Warrant Intercept Program - Extension
Senate Bill 613/ House Bill 644 Chapter 506/Chapter 507 Income Tax - Electronic Filing - Designation to Purchase Federal Savings Bonds
Senate Bill 715 Chapter 309 Maryland Highway Safety Act of 2013
Senate Bill 1068 Chapter 344 Commission to Study the Regulation of Payroll Services
House Bill 380 Chapter 617 Income Tax - Joint Returns - Married Couples
House Bill 1513 Chapter 420 Public Safety - Response to a State Disaster or Emergency - Licensing and Taxes

Subtractions

Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2013) Bill Title
Senate Bill 404/House Bill 408 Chapter 257/Chapter 258 Income Tax - Subtraction Modification - Enhanced Agricultural Management Equipment
Senate Bill 639 Chapter 513 Civil Rights Tax Relief Act
Senate Bill 658/House Bill 1031 Chapter 517/Chapter 518 Estate Tax and Income Tax - Marital Deduction and Subtraction Modification for Health Insurance
Senate Bill 774 Chapter 546 Income Tax - Subtraction Modification - Maryland Civil Air Patrol
House Bill 706 Chapter 384 Natural Resources - Forest Preservation Act of 2013

Credits

Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2013) Bill Title
Senate Bill 124/House Bill 43 Chapter 443 Income Tax Credit for Qualifying Employees - Sunset Repeal
Senate Bill 183 Chapter 28 Income Tax - Business and Economic Development - Film Production Activity Tax Credit
Senate Bill 482 Chapter 482 Income Tax Credit - Security Clearances - Employer Costs
Senate Bill 484/House Bill 184 Chapter 278/Chapter 279 Income Tax Credit - Oyster Shell Recycling
Senate Bill 779/House Bill 328 Chapter 75/Chapter 76 Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit - Qualified Maryland Biotechnology Company - Definition
House Bill 386 Chapter 109 Income Tax Credit - Qualified Research and Development Expenses - Credit Amounts and Small Business Refund
House Bill 791 Chapter 389 Tax Credits - Electric Vehicles - Extensions
House Bill 803 Chapter 390 Income Tax - Business and Economic Development - Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit
House Bill 1017 Chapter 659 Income Tax Credit - Wineries and Vineyards
House Bill 102 Chapter 425 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2013
House Bill 108 Chapter 82 Housing and Community Development - Neighborhood and Community Assistance Program
SALES AND USE TAX
Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2013) Bill Title
Senate Bill 481 Chapter 481 Task Force on Implementation of Tax Benefits for Emergency Preparedness Equipment
Senate Bill 486/House Bill 523 Chapter 483/Chapter 484 Short-Term Rental of Motorcycles - Sales and Use Tax and Motor Vehicle Law
Senate Bill 745 Chapter 313 Public Safety - 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Systems - Prepaid Service - Collection of Surcharge
House Bill 232 Chapter 609 Sales and Use Tax - Exemption - Parent-Teacher Organization Fundraisers
ALCOHOL TAX
Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2013) Bill Title
Senate Bill 223 Chapter 207 Alcoholic Beverages - Class 7 Limited Beer Wholesaler's License
Senate Bill 955 Chapter 589 Alcoholic Beverages - Refillable Containers - Class 5 Manufacturer's License
House Bill 978 Chapter 396 Alcoholic Beverages - Winery Off-Site Permit and Wine Festival Permit
MOTOR FUEL TAX
Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2013) Bill Title
House Bill 1515 Chapter 429 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013
Bill Number Chapter (Acts of 2012) Bill Title
Senate Bill 8 Chapter 451 Maryland Income Tax Refund - Anne Arundel County - Warrants
Senate Bill 234 Chapter 3 Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reduction Act of 2012
Senate Bill 1086/ House Bill 1456 Chapter 344/ Chapter 345 Electronic Filing Requirements
Senate Bill 1302/ House Bill 1802 Chapter 2 (Special Session 1) State and Local Revenue Financing Act of 2012
House Bill 438 Chapter 2 Civil Marriage Protection Act

Sales and Use Tax Alerts

  • Sales and Use Tax Alert- Issued September 25, 2019 - Tax Alert Regarding Marketplace Facilitators
  • Sales and Use Tax Alert- Issued August 2, 2018- Tax Alert Regarding Peer-to Peer Car Sharing
  • Sales and Use Tax Alert - Issued May 2, 2016 - Acts of 2016, Chapter 3 Sales and Use Tax - Taxable Price - Accommodations
  • Sales and Use Tax Alert - Issued September 2018 - Tax Alert Regarding The United States Supreme Court Decision South Dakota V. Wayfair and its Implications for Sale Tax Nexus

Twice a year Maryland holds special shopping events when the state sales tax on certain purchases is waived. These events help consumers stretch their dollar just a bit more, and help business owners generate more foot traffic.

Shop Maryland Energy and Shop Maryland Tax-free Week occur in February and August every year thanks to legislation passed in the 2007 special session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Shop Maryland Energy takes place in the month of February for qualified Energy Star products or a solar water heater. The tax-free period for these products begins on the Saturday immediately preceding the third Monday in February.

Shop Maryland Tax-free Week occurs every year beginning the second Sunday of August through the following Saturday. Each qualifying article of clothing or footwear selling for $100 or less is exempt from sales tax, regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time. For example, two $60 sweaters purchased at the same time are both exempt even though the total of the purchase is greater than $100.Additionally, the first $40 of a backpack or bookbag purchase is also tax-free. Accessory items, except for backpacks, are not included.

Unlike previous tax-free periods, businesses selling other items not eligible for inclusion in the tax-free week can participate in Shop Maryland. Under regulations dubbed Sellers Privilege, other merchandise besides apparel and backpacks can be sold tax free but with the retailer paying the sales tax.

These tax-free events will continue until the legislature decides to revisit the issue.