Frequently Asked Questions about Sales and Use Taxes

Yes. Every time you purchase taxable tangible goods, whether in person, over the phone, or on the Internet, the purchase is subject to Maryland's 6 percent sales and use tax if you use the merchandise in Maryland. If you make a tax-free purchase out of state and need to pay Maryland's 6 percent use tax, you should file the Consumer Use Tax Return .

When you purchase goods from out-of-state businesses, they are not required to collect Maryland's sales and use tax unless they have a physical location, or deliver services, in Maryland. For more information, see Maryland's Sales and Use Tax

No. A store coupon is not included in the taxable price unless the vendor can get reimbursement from another source. Manufacturers' coupons are included in the taxable price since a store can obtain a reimbursement from the manufacturer.

For example, if you had a Mars grocery store coupon that was redeemable only at a Mars store - and not Food Lion, Giant or any other food store - the coupon would not be included in the taxable price. On the other hand, if you had a Welch's Grape Juice coupon that you could use in any store, then that coupon would be included in the taxable price.

No. Energy Star-rated clothes washers, refrigerators and air conditioners sold in Maryland are not exempt from the Maryland sales and use tax.

There is a tax-free three-day weekend during which the state sales tax will not apply to the sale of any Energy Star Product listed below, or solar water heater. The tax-free weekend for 2013 will occur the weekend of February 16, 2013, through February 18, 2013.

Energy Star Product means an air conditioner, clothes washer or dryer, furnace, heat pump, standard size refrigerator, compact fluorescent light bulb, dehumidifier, or programmable thermostat that has been designated as meeting or exceeding the applicable Energy Star Efficiency requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

In general, food sales are subject to Maryland's 6 percent sales and use tax unless a person operating a substantial grocery or market business sells the food for consumption off the premises and the food is not a taxable prepared food. A grocery or market business is considered to be "substantial" if the sales of grocery or market food items total at least 10 percent of all food sales.

For more information, see Sales of Food

No. The Maryland sales and use tax does not apply to the sales of cars or boats since those items are already subject to titling taxes. Sales of motor vehicles are subject to the Maryland motor vehicle titling tax which is administered by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Boat sales are subject to a boat titling tax which is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

On the other hand, the sales and use tax does apply to car and boat rentals, under different tax rates. 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.

It depends. Charges for warranties, maintenance, service agreements and insurance are taxable if the buyer is required to purchase them or they are already included in the price of the merchandise. However, if the sale could be completed without paying these charges, then the charges are not taxable.

Private vendors or franchisees selling on military bases, or other United States Government properties, must charge the sales tax on all sales of tangible personal property and taxable services statutorily subject to the tax. The tax must be charged on sales to military and other Government personnel as well as civilians. There is an exemption from the tax for sales made at a vending machine facility operated under the Maryland Vending Program for the Blind that is located on property on military bases.

Sales made by the United States Government, or any of its agencies, on Government property are exempt from the sales and use tax, regardless of whether the purchasers are military and Government personnel or civilians.

For example, sales of food by a fast food vendor on a military base are subject to the tax if the vendor or franchisee is ABC Company. The same sales made on a military base where the vendor or franchisee is the United States Government, or an agency of the Government, are not subject to the tax.