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Pennsylvania expands sales tax exemptions

  • Jul 18, 2016 | Gail Cole

 New sales and use tax exemptions soon to take effect in Pennsylvania.

Several new sales and use tax exemptions have been enacted in Pennsylvania. None are sweeping, instead targeting specific industries.


A manufacturing sales and use tax exemption is extended to machinery and equipment used in timbering. It takes effect July 1, 2017.

“Timbering” includes:

  • The business of producing or harvesting trees from forests, woodlots or tree farms for the purpose of the commercial production of wood, paper, or energy products derived from wood by a company primarily engaged in the business of harvesting trees
  • All operations prior to the transport of the harvested product necessary for the removal of timber or forest products from the site (see HB 1198 for details)

“Timbering” does not include the harvesting of trees for clearing land for access roads.

Reusable (in theory) cartons

An exemption for cartons has been expanded to include “corrugated boxes used by a person engaged in the manufacture of snack food products to deliver the manufactured product, whether or not the boxes are returnable for potential reuse.

Property rented by certain exhibitors

Finally, effective July 1, 2016, a sales and use tax exemption is extended to “services related to the set up, tear down, or maintenance of tangible personal property rented by an authority to exhibitors at … the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.”

Sales and use tax exemptions must be properly managed in order to be valid. Sales tax software-as-a-service (SaaS) takes the pain out of exemption certificate management. Learn more.

photo credit: BRITISH COLUMBIA 1971 MUNICIPAL EXEMPT plate via photopin (license)

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.