Maine—Exempt Organizations and Government Agencies

SALT Report 3389 – Maine Revenue Services (MRS) has released an Instructional Bulletin that explains the procedures exempt organizations and agencies must follow in order to request sales tax exempt status.  Many types of organizations are exempt from paying sales tax on their purchases and certain sales made by these types of organizations are also exempt from Maine’s sales tax.  According to the MRS Bulletin, “The sales and use tax law does not provide that all entities that qualify as a tax-exempt organization by Internal Revenue Service standards (i.e. 501(c)(3)) are exempt from the Maine sales and use tax.”

Organizations and agencies that are entitled to sales or use tax exemption must submit an application to MRS for a certificate of exemption.   Items purchased and not used exclusively by the exempt organization or agency will be subject to tax.  The certificate may not be used to purchase items for personal use; purchase items for resale by the organization; or to purchase items for use by the organization in activities that are primarily commercial enterprises.  Retailers must ensure sales invoices made to exempt organizations are properly marked to indicate the sales tax exempt status.

For Further Information:

Instructional Bulletin 36-Exempt Organizations and Government Agencies

MRS Rule No. 302, Sales to Government Agencies and Exempt Organizations