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How To Register for A Maryland Sales Tax License

How To Register for A Maryland Sales Tax License

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How To Register for A Maryland Sales Tax License

Most businesses starting in Maryland that sell a product or offer certain services will need to register for a Maryland sales tax license. This license is sometimes referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax permit, sales tax number, or sales and use tax license.

The sales tax license is obtained through the Comptroller of Maryland as a part of completing the Combined Registration Application.

Keep reading this guide to learn about who needs a sales tax license, what kinds of products and services are taxable, how to sign up for one, and what you need to do for reporting.

Related: Guide to starting a business in Maryland

Who needs a sales tax license in Maryland?

A business must register for a sales tax license in Maryland when:

  • A business has sales tax nexus, which means having a physical presence in the state, such as having a physical location like a retail store or office or using a warehouse or fulfillment center to store inventory.
  • Businesses selling items from temporary locations, such as craft shows, fairs, seminars, trade shows, conventions, etc in Maryland
  • Hiring Maryland employees (including remote employees, sales representatives, or agents)
  • A business located in Maryland is selling taxable services and/or products to Maryland residents
  • A remote seller sells over $100,000 in physical goods or has over 200 transactions annually to residents in Maryland

What products and services are taxable in Maryland?

Physical Products

There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in the state of Maryland. Common examples include:

  • General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
  • Titled or registered items like vehicles

Some foods, medicine and medical equipment, security services, and sales of machinery and equipment used in producing goods are tax-exempt.

Digital Products

Digital products are currently not taxable.

Services

Most services aren’t taxable in Maryland, however, there are a few exceptions, some of which include:

  • Short-term lodging
  • Commercial janitorial and cleaning services
  • Admissions such as movies, athletic events, shows, or exhibits
  • Amusement devices such as bingo, coin-operated amusement devices, boat rides, golf fees, skating, and bowling shoe rentals.

How to register for a sales tax license in Maryland

A permanents sales tax license (what most businesses will register for) can be obtained by filing the Combined Registration Application online or mailing in the RAD-093 form.

Businesses participating in three or fewer events per year (fair, tradeshow, flea market, etc.) can instead register for a Temporary sales tax license which is good for 30 days.

Information needed to register includes:

Sales tax reporting

How is sales tax collected?

When a business makes a sale of a taxable product or service, the business charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer. This tax is collected by the business which is then sent to the Comptroller of Maryland.

How much is sales tax in Maryland?

The sales tax rate that is charged varies depending on the address of the business if the purchase is made or shipped from a business located in the state or where the transaction took place, such as a mobile location, fair, or tradeshow.

In addition to the statewide tax, there are additional sales taxes that may be added by cities and municipalities. To find the sales tax for your location, see the sales tax rate guide from the Comptroller of Maryland.

When are Maryland sales tax returns due?

The Comptroller of Maryland will determine a filing frequency based on the expected volume of annual sales, which will be monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Generally, a business collecting over $700 in sales tax monthly will file monthly.

Filings are due on the 20th day of the month following the reporting period unless the 20th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, in which case it would move to the next business day.

Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing is still required indicating no sales occurred.

Maryland Sales Tax License FAQs

How much does a Maryland sales tax license cost?

There is no fee to get a sales tax license in Maryland.

How long does it take to get a Maryland sales tax license?

Expect up to 2 weeks to receive your Maryland sales tax license.

Do you have to renew a Maryland sales tax license?

The sales tax license is a one-time registration, and no renewals are needed. Be mindful that if any information about the business changes, such as the mailing address, additional locations, or change in ownership, those changes need to be updated with the Comptroller of Maryland.

How do I get a wholesale license in Maryland?

A business is able to purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax. The tax liability is passed from the wholesaler or distributor to the retailer, who will then charge sales tax to the end-user of the item.

Wholesalers and distributors will require a sales tax number, and in many cases require the reseller to fill out the Maryland Resale Certificate (also referred to as a wholesale license, reseller’s permit, or sales tax exemption certificate) to document that the items being purchased are for resale.

Is a business license the same thing as a sales tax license?

A business license and a sales tax permit serve different purposes and are not the same.

A business license authorizes you to conduct business within a particular locality, ensuring compliance with local regulations. Conversely, a sales tax permit enables your business to legally collect sales tax on sales, which you then remit to the state government.

Generally, businesses require both a license and a permit to operate legally and handle taxes correctly.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Maryland

If you have questions about the sales tax license, the Comptroller of Maryland has a guide on State and Use Taxes in Maryland or can be contacted by calling 800-638-2937 or 410-260-7980 or by emailing sut@comp.state.md.us.

Author

  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To Register for A Maryland Sales Tax License

How To Register for A Maryland Sales Tax License

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