EYE ON Massachusetts Sales Taxes

By Jeff Meigs on Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

eye_on_massachusetts.pngThe Massachusetts sales and use tax is imposed on taxable retail sales and the use of tangible personal property and designated services. The statewide general tax rate is 6.25%. There are no local sales or use taxes imposed in Massachusetts.   

Massachusetts was one of the first states to implement a more secure online account management and filing system for sales and use taxes. 

  • The security measures require each computer to be recognized by the Massachusetts online system before access to the account can be granted – meaning that if your compliance person is out sick when the sales tax return is due, it isn’t as easy as having another employee login to your account and file the return. 
  • The computer has to first be registered with the state using a separate set of security credentials.  While this security measure has all the right intentions, it adds a layer of seemingly unnecessary controls. 
  • Other states have adopted or are planning to adopt similar measures. 

As you might expect, tea is not subject to Massachusetts sales and use tax (except when prepared for immediate consumption).

american_tea_co.jpgSo your next tea party doesn’t have to be themed “taxation without representation”.  Boston baked beans are also exempt, while a Boston cream doughnut would be taxable (unless prepackaged and sold for off-premise consumption in units of six or more).  I can’t think of any state or city without associating it with food. 

With a relatively low sales and use tax rate and no local taxes, Massachusetts is an attractive state for sales and use tax purposes.  Their taxpayer customer service is usually professional and courteous as well.  

  Stay tuned for more of Jeff's EYE ON series as he blogs aboout sales and use tax State by State.



Jeff Meigs

Written by Jeff Meigs