October in Maine brings sales tax on publication sales

Nov 4, 2013

By Jessica Conway-Ellis

Government Relations Specialist | NNA

Fall has arrived in Maine, bringing with it changing leaves, a zip to the air and a rise in sales tax. On Oct. 1, not only did Maine’s general sales tax push upwards, but publications, such as newspapers and magazines, became subject to circulation sales tax for the first time.

The tax comes from the repeal of a statutory exemption that protected certain types of publications, including daily and weekly newspapers, from sales tax. Readers will now pay a 5.5 percent tax on their purchase.

In certain cases, the sales tax may extend to the purchase of a digital publication. However, if the publication is not downloadable, and can only be read online, the sales tax may not apply. Sales of publications through news vending machines are also subject to sales tax.

The general sales tax increase is temporary, expected to last from Oct. 1, 2013, until June 30, 2015.

Detailed information on the application of the sales tax may be found at the Maine Revenue Services website at www.maine.gov/revenue/salesuse/Guidanceforpublications09242013.pdf.