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Maine Updates Information on Resale Certificates


Maine has recently released an informational bulletin on resale certificates.

Sales Tax Instructional Bulletin 54 is "intended to address issues commonly faced by taxpayers with respect to the administration and proper use of resale certificates." The bulletin clarifies the distinction between Retailer Certificates and Resale Certificates.

Retailer Certificate

  • acknowledges an individual's registration with Maine Revenue Services (MRS) for the collection and remittance of sales and use tax;
  • displays the sales tax registration number assigned to that individual;
  • must be made available for inspection upon request of an MRS or authorized municipal official;
  • may not be transferred or assigned.

Resale Certificate

  • a separate and different document from the Retailer Certificate;
  • allows a retailer to make purchases for resale without paying the Maine Sales Tax on them;
  • issued by MRS to taxpayers who meet the qualifications listed below:

A Provisional Resale Certificate is issued to retailers who expect to make"$3,000.00 or more in gross sales over the next year."

A Resale Certificate is automatically renewed to retailers "that have reported $3,000 or more in gross sales during the previous 12 months."

A copy of the Resale Certificate must be given by the retailer to the retailer's supplier to "support a claim that a purchase is exempt from sales tax" because it will be resold by the retailer.

According to Maine Revenue Services, retailers "with annual gross sales of less than $3,000 … must pay sales tax at the time of purchase even if the goods will be resold by the retailer." The retailer may then claim a credit on the sales tax return for that period.

Sales for resale to out-of-state retailers that don't have a Maine Sales Tax Account qualify for exemption, so long as proper supporting documentation is provided. The multi-jurisdictional "Uniform Sales & Use Tax Certificate" is acceptable. A copy of the form may be found at the Multistate Tax Commission website.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.