States with no sales tax: What you need to know

Did you know that there are states with no sales tax? Did you also know that some of those states actually have a type of sales tax? Or that businesses located in states with no sales tax can be required to collect and remit sales tax in other states?

Read on to learn:

What states have no sales tax?

There are five states with no general statewide sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. These are sometimes referred to as the NOMAD states (“N” for New Hampshire, “O” for Oregon, and so forth).

Fun fact: Alaska and New Hampshire also have no general individual income taxes (though The Granite State does have an interest and dividend tax and a business profits tax).

Which NOMAD states have a type of sales tax?

Although none of the NOMAD states have a general statewide sales tax, select transactions in each state are subject to tax: Some of these states levy local sales taxes while others impose a state tax on the sale of certain goods or services.


There’s no state sales tax in Alaska but Alaska allows local sales taxes. More than 100 local municipalities or boroughs in the Last Frontier levy a local sales tax on certain transactions. There are no local sales taxes in Anchorage or the town of Chicken, Alaska, but there’s currently a 5.5% local sales tax in the town of North Pole.

Sales tax rates vary by location and, in certain localities by the time of the year. The local sales tax rate in Ketchikan is 8% from April through October and 5.5% during the winter months. Nome once also had a seasonal tax rate but it no longer does.

The Tax Foundation considers Alaska to be a tax-friendly state, in part because it has a maximum local sales tax rate of 7.5%, an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 1.76%, and no individual income tax.


Delaware imposes a gross receipts tax on the total gross revenues of a business. The gross receipts tax is levied on the seller of goods or services, rather than the consumer. 


There’s no state sales tax in Montana but certain communities levy a resort and local option tax, currently capped at 3%. The resort tax is a local option sales tax on the retail value of goods and services sold by certain businesses, including lodging and camping facilities, restaurants, and destination recreational facilities like ski resorts. Luxury products are also subject to the resort tax. Jurisdictions with a local resort tax include Big Sky, Whitefish, and West Yellowstone.

Montana also levies excise taxes on certain items, including alcohol, gasoline, lodging, and tobacco. An excise tax is simply a sales tax that applies to a particular product.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire imposes a meals and rooms (rentals) tax upon patrons of restaurants and hotels or other facilities with sleeping accommodations in the state. The tax applies to rooms and meals costing 36 cents or more and to car rentals. Like a general statewide sales tax, the meals and rooms tax is imposed on the customer but collected and remitted by the business operator.


Although there’s no general state sales tax in Oregon, the state has a bicycle excise tax. The flat $15 bicycle excise tax is collected by the retailer at the point of sale, so it feels like a sales tax. There are also vehicle taxes in Oregon.

Why businesses in NOMAD states can be required to collect sales tax in other states

There are several ways for businesses to develop sales tax nexus, which is an obligation to collect and remit sales tax. And yes, businesses based in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon can establish sales tax nexus with states that have a sales tax.

Nexus can apply to other taxes too, including business and occupation (B&O) tax and franchise tax. If you have nexus with Washington, you may be on the hook for B&O tax. If you have nexus with Texas, you may be liable for franchise tax.

Physical presence in a state creates sales tax nexus

One of the most common ways for a business to establish nexus for state sales tax is by having a physical presence in a state. And if you have physical presence nexus, you’re generally liable for all applicable state and local taxes.

There are several ways to establish sales tax nexus, including:

So, businesses located in NOMAD states need to understand, pay attention to, and if necessary, comply with physical presence nexus laws.

But physical presence isn’t the only way for a business to trigger sales tax nexus with another state because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. (June 21, 2018).

Selling to customers in another state can give you nexus with that state

You can now establish nexus with a state simply by selling to consumers in the state. This is known as economic nexus.

To help reduce the burden of remote sales tax compliace, all states provide an exception for businesses selling under a certain threshold. Economic nexus thresholds vary by state. For example:

● California’s threshold is $500,000 in total combined sales of tangible personal property delivered into the state in the current or previous calendar year, including nontaxable sales

● Florida’s threshold is $100,000 in taxable sales of tangible personal property in the current or previous calendar year

● The threshold in Illinois is $100,000 in cumulative gross receipts from sales or 200 separate transactions in the current or previous calendar year

You can find state-specific details in our state-by-state guide to economic nexus laws.

So, businesses located in NOMAD states that sell to consumers in other states need to understand, pay attention to, and if necessary, comply with economic nexus laws. There’s an economic nexus law in all 45 states with a sales tax, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and a growing number of local taxing authorities in Alaska.

How NOMAD states respond to online sales tax laws

The states with no sales tax have responded to Wayfair and online sales tax requirements differently.

Some Alaska localities tax online and mail-order sales

Because so many local governments in Alaska levy a local sales tax, the response to Wayfair in the Last Frontier has been quite different from the response in other NOMAD states.

In 2019, the Alaska Municipal League created the Alaska Remote Seller Sales Tax Commission (ARSSTC) to enable local governments to economic nexus and minimize the compliance burden for remote sellers. Today, more than 50 jurisdictions are members of the ARSSTC and tax remote sales.

Delaware admits online sales taxes exist

The Delaware Division of Revenue website notes that internet sales tax is a hot topic and that “some states have enacted legislation and/or issued regulations concerning sales tax for businesses operating over the Internet.” That’s about it.

Montana and Oregon advise businesses to comply with applicable online sales tax laws

Tax departments in Montana and Oregon advise resident businesses to comply with economic nexus laws in other states and/or seek legal advice.

New Hampshire opposes online sales taxes

The Live Free or Die State is against online sales tax.

In July 2019, Governor Chris Sununu signed legislation requiring other states to “provide advance written notice to the New Hampshire Department of Justice before imposing a sales or use tax collection obligation on a remote seller from New Hampshire.” The measure also required states to reimburse businesses in the state for the cost of remote sales tax compliance.

You can still find the Reporting Out-of-State Sales Tax Requests for NH Businesses page on the New Hampshire Department of Justice website, but other states don’t seem to be taking the requirement seriously


If you’re located in a NOMAD state and sell to residents of states with a sales tax, you shouldn’t ignore sales tax. You may not have a sales tax obligation in the states where you have customers. Then again, you might. Our free economic nexus risk assessment can help you find out.

This post has been updated; it first published in September 2022.

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