What Every Maine Business Should Know About Sales Tax

What is the Sales Tax Rate in Maine?:

The state sales tax rate is 5.5% on most transactions, and Maine doesn’t have local rates. Some items – like prepared food – are taxed differently.

What is Sales Tax in Maine?

In Maine, sales tax is a tax on tangible physical property that is sold or rented in Maine and select services.

Are All Goods and Services Taxable?


How Do I Know What’s Taxable and What’s Not?

This link can help you determine what is taxable and what isn’t in Maine. https://www.maine.gov/revenue/salesuse/salestax/bulletinssales.htm

Who Pays Sales Tax?

Consumers pay sales tax.  Merchants do not pay sales tax out of their own pockets.  It’s commonly referred to as a pass through tax.

What Am I Responsible For?

You are required to collect sales tax, hold it secure and send it to the State on-time and in-full.

When Is My Sales Tax Payment Due in Maine?

Maine Sales Tax is due on the 15th of the month following the reporting period. Filing frequency is determined by the State. Click here for a list of due dates.

How Do I Know How Much Sales Tax to Charge? 

The state sales tax rate is 5.5% on most transactions, and Maine doesn’t have local rates. That said, some items are taxed differently. Find more information here.  The final and definitive answer is always the sales tax rate posted on the State Department of Revenue website.  Rates posted on the web are often not up-to-date and incorrect. It’s always the merchant’s responsibility to charge the correct sales tax rate.

Who Gets the Sales Tax Money?

In Maine all sales tax is paid directly to the State.

How Do I Manage Tax Exempt Sales?

Tax exempt organizations such as schools and religious organizations are often exempt from sales tax. They are required to give you copy of their “TAX EXEMPT CERTIFICATE” at the time of the sale and you are required to keep this certificate on file. Failing to do so may result in you paying the sales tax out of your own pocket if you have a sales tax audit.

What if I Forget to Pay or Spend the Money and Can’t Pay?

Maine has severe penalties for missing tax payments. You can find the penalties for late payments here. If sales tax goes unpaid, states will seize the assets of the business or owner and auction them off to pay the debt.  In extreme cases owners will be prosecuted and sent to jail. Even if the business closes, sales tax is a personal liability that will follow the owner until paid.

Can I Get Help with My Maine Sales Tax?

Yes! Maine Revenue Services has telephone assistance available Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Go to https://www.maine.gov/revenue/contact.html for contact information.

In-person assistance is available at 51 Commerce Drive, Augusta, Maine, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Identification may be required.

Online Assistance is available at www.maine.gov/revenue to:

  • Download tax forms
  • File certain tax returns (not all taxes are eligible for online filing)
  • Make tax payments
  • Check the status of a refund
  • Find tax information
  • Email your tax questions

Maine Sales and Use TAX HELP:

Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services

(207) 624-9693