Maine – Determining the Taxable Sale Price

SALT Report 1346 – Maine Revenue Services has made several changes to its sales and use tax instructional bulletin regarding what must be included in the sale price on which sales or use tax is based.

Retailer to Add Amount of Tax to Sale Price

Section 1753 states that “the retailer shall add the amount of the tax to the sale price and may state the amount of the tax separately from the sale price of tangible personal property or taxable services on price display signs, sales or delivery slips, bills and statements that advertise or indicate the sale price of the property or services.”

As of September 28, 2011, if the retailer does not state the amount of the tax separately from the sale price the retailer must include a statement on the sales slip or invoice that the stated price includes Maine sales tax.

Layaway Sales

Layaway payments are deposits, so tax should not be collected each time a payment is made. The sale price includes the total amount of all layaway payments, but sales tax is not collected unless and until the final payment is made and the product is delivered.  A layaway service fee is a charge for a service that is part of the sale and is included in the taxable sale price when a sale is completed; however it is not taxable if a layaway is cancelled. Additionally, any fee charged for the cancellation of a layaway sale is not taxable.

Transportation Charges

Transportation charges are not included in the taxable sale price if:

  • The transportation is from the retailer’s place of business, or some other point from which shipment is made, directly to the customer; and
  • The transportation is by means of common carrier, contract carrier or the United States mail; and
  • The transportation charges are separately stated whether on an invoice or on a separate statement

All three of the above conditions must be met for transportation charges to be excluded from sales tax.

For Further Information:

Maine Revenue Services – Sales and Use Tax Instructional Bulletin No. 39