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How to Calculate the Taxable Sale Price in Maine


 Maine Revenue Services explains how to determine taxable sale price.

Maine Revenue Services has released an information bulletin entitled, “Sale Price Upon Which Tax is Based.” It should remove any confusion regarding how to calculate the taxable amount of a sales transaction in Maine.

Sales (and use) tax is based on the sale price. Under Maine law, sale price includes:

  • “The full price, valued in money, whether paid in money or otherwise, including the value of traded in property;”
  • “The amount charged for any services that are a part of the sale” (assembly, alteration, etc) whether separately stated or not. However, “separately stated charges for labor or services used in installing, applying or repairing the property sold are not subject to tax;” and
  • “Federal manufacturers’ or importers’ excise taxes with respect to automobiles, tires, firearms, tobacco, sporting goods, etc., even though this federal tax is separately stated.”

Under Maine law, taxable sale priced does not include:

  • "Cash discounts allowed by seller;
  • Separately stated charges for labor or services involving installing, applying or repairing the property sold;
  • Separately stated charges for transportation of goods to the purchaser by common or contract carrier or by mail;
  • Certain service charges in lieu of tips;
  • The Recycling Assistance Fee;
  • The premium on motor vehicle oil;
  • The lead-acid battery deposit;
  • The ‘lemon law’ arbitration program and consumer mediation service fees; and
  • Any amount charged for the disposal of used tires."

The bulletin delves into additional detail regarding sales tax and trade-ins, installment and layaway sales, and how to account for sales tax on receipts. Retailers in Maine would do well to read it thoroughly.

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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.
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.