SALT Report 3105 – Maine Revenue Services has revised its guidance regarding the application of sales and use tax to sales made by florists. The bulletin states that retail sales by florists and other producers or sellers of flowers, wreaths, bouquets, potted plants, hospital baskets, funeral design, and all other flowers, plants, or merchandise are taxable sales of tangible personal property.
When any of these taxable products are delivered to a customer, the delivery charges are generally taxable and should be included in the total sale price when computing the sales tax. This provision also applies to delivery charges made in connection with FTD orders where the receiving florist provides the delivery.
However, delivery charges are not taxable if the following conditions are met:
- Shipment is made directly to the purchaser,
- Shipping is separately stated from other charges, like handling or COD surcharges, and
- Shipment is made by common or contract carrier or the US mail
The Department notes that, because florists typically make deliveries using their own vehicles, rather than a common or contract carrier, shipping or delivery charges will normally be a part of the taxable sale price.
The bulletin also addresses recent changes that affect the taxability of telegraphic deliveries, rentals, personal purchases, purchases for resale, and packaging materials.
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