The 2016 Maryland State Sales Tax
What is the 2016 Maryland Sales Tax Rate?
The Maryland state sales tax rate is 6%, and the average MD sales tax after local surtaxes is 6%.
- Groceries and prescription drugs are exempt from the Maryland sales tax
- Counties and cities are not allowed to collect local sales taxes
- Maryland has no special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
- Maryland has a higher state sales tax than 71.2% of states
Maryland has exemptions to its sales tax for medicines, residential energy, and most raw groceries (but not soda, candy, or alcohol). Most services are not taxed, but most tangible purchases (including Internet purchases and mail orders such as magazines) are. Selective sales taxes are also applicable to some items like Alcohol, which is taxed at a special rate of 9%.
Maryland has a once-a-year "tax holiday" in August when no sales tax is collected on the sale of certain back-to-school items like clothing and books.
If you are a Maryland business owner, you can learn more about how to collect and file your Maryland sales tax return at the 2016 Maryland Sales Tax Handbook .
Maryland Sales Tax Exemptions
Maryland doesn't collect sales tax on purchases of most prescription drugs and groceries. In most states, necessities such as groceries, clothes, and drugs are exempted from the sales tax or charged at a lower sales tax rate.
Some items may not be eligible for these reduced sales tax rates, such as expensive clothing, unhealthy food or drinks like soda, and certain non-essential pharmaceuticals. Maryland does not treat candy or soda as groceries, which means they are not subject to reduced grocery sales tax rates. Other items including gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes are subject to various Maryland excise taxes in addition to the sales tax.
Maryland has three sales tax holidays, during which certain items can be purchased sales-tax free. For more details, see the Maryland sales tax holiday calendar.
In some states, items like alcohol and prepared food (including restaurant meals and some premade supermarket items) are charged at a higher sales tax rate. The MD sales tax applicable to the sale of cars, boats, and real estate sales may also vary by jurisdiction. Maryland's sales tax rates for commonly exempted items are as follows:
$100 Restaurant Dinner
$100 of groceries
$100 in clothes
$100 of consumer products
$6.00 sales tax
$0.00 sales tax
$6.00 sales tax
$6.00 sales tax
Maryland Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
Unlike a Value Added Tax (VAT), the Maryland sales tax only applies to end consumers of the product. Individuals and companies who are purchasing goods for resale, improvement, or as raw materials can use a Maryland Sales Tax Exemption Form to buy these goods tax-free.
Companies or individuals who wish to make a qualifying purchase tax-free must have a Maryland state sales tax exemption certificate, which can be obtained from the Maryland Comptroller of Maryland . On making an exempt purchase, Exemption Certificate holders may submit a completed Maryland Sales Tax Exemption Form to the vendor instead of paying sales tax.
Sales tax exemption forms (as well as business sales tax id applications, sales tax returns, and the full Maryland sales tax code) can be downloaded from the Maryland Comptroller of Maryland here .
Maryland Sales Tax Calculator
Whenever you make a purchase at a licensed Maryland retailer, your sales tax will be automatically calculated and added to your bill. To lookup the sales tax due on any purchase, use our Maryland sales tax calculator.
Maryland Use Tax
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If you buy goods and are not charged the Maryland Sales Tax by the retailer, such as with online and out-of-state purchases, you are supposed to pay the 6% sales tax (less any foreign sales tax paid) for these items yourself as the Maryland Use Tax.
Your are expected to voluntarily list your liable purchases on a Maryland Use Tax Return, which should be attached with payment to your Maryland Income Tax Return. Historically, compliance rates with with the Maryland Use Tax have been low.
Maryland Local Sales Taxes
Maryland does not allow local jurisdictions like cities or counties to collect a local sales tax. The Maryland state sales tax of 6% is applicable statewide. You can view the sales tax rates for various cities in Maryland here.
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