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Idahoans see clearly without sales tax

  • Jul 13, 2016 | Gail Cole

 Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are both now exempt from Idaho sales tax.

Aside from getting to wear snazzy frames (and from finding an ideal partner in the dystopian world of “The Lobster”), there aren’t many advantages to being short-sighted. That’s not true anymore — at least in Idaho.

Beginning July 1, 2016, contact lenses purchased with a prescription are exempt from Idaho sales and use tax. They’ll still cost you, but at least they won’t cost you the extra 6% in state sales and use tax. This is thanks to the enactment of H.B. 75.

According to the bill’s fiscal note, the new exemption will reduce the General Fund by approximately $1.42 million in fiscal year 2016 and an additional $1.42 million in fiscal year 2017. In subsequent fiscal years, the loss is expected to be $2.82 million. The exemption was deemed necessary “to align the sales tax of prescription eyeglasses and contacts with that of other prescriptions and medical devices.” Prescription eyeglasses are exempt from sales tax as of July 1, 2015.

Changes in product taxability complicate sales and use tax compliance in all states. Sales tax software-as-a-service simplifies it and reduces audit risk. Learn more.

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.