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Rhode Island Clothing Sales Tax Threshold


Up until October 1, 2012, purchasing clothing in Rhode Island is exempt from sales tax. After October 1, 2012, a threshold will be implemented in Rhode Island for clothing purchases.

Per Rhode Island General Laws, “…the exemption will apply to the sales of articles of clothing, including footwear, intended to be worn or carried on or about the human body up to two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) of the sales price per item.”

Reasons For Implementing The Threshold

Governor Chaffee’s 2013 Budget Bill states:

By instituting a threshold amount above which an item of clothing or footwear becomes taxable, the State will no longer be in compliance with the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) causing the State to forego the receipt of sales tax collected by remote sellers that are signatories to the SSUTA. The enacted FY 2013 budget includes additional sales tax revenues of $10.7 million from the expansion of the sales tax to these items and a reduction of $1.4 million in sales tax revenue due to non-compliance with the SSUTA. The net impact of the approved sales tax base expansion by the General Assembly is an increase in revenue in FY 2013 of $9.4 million.

Items Affected By The Threshold

Clothing is defined to be “…all human wearing apparel suitable for general use.” Examples include:

  • Aprons
  • Baby receiving blankets
  • Diapers
  • Ear muffs
  • Formal wear
  • Garters and garter belts
  • Neckties
  • Rainwear
  • Sneakers
  • Underwear
  • Wedding apparel

Not included as clothing: individually sold belt buckles and costume masks, patches, emblems, sewing equipment and supplies and sewing material.

Still Taxable

  • Clothing accessories or equipment such as briefcases, jewelry, sunglasses, watches and wigs.
  • Protective equipment such as breathing masks, hard hats, helmets, protective gloves, safety glasses and tool belts.
  • Sports or recreational equipment such as ballet shoes, baseball gloves, life preservers, shoulder pads, ski boots and wetsuits.

Rhode Island currently does not have a sales tax holiday for clothing or back-to-school items, but find out what states do….

Read more about caps and thresholds

Massachusetts Sales Tax Caps and Thresholds

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”