Maine Sales and Use Tax – 1040ME reporting rate decrease

Those who purchase items out of state for use in Maine are required to pay Maine’s sale or use tax on those items, unless the seller collected Maine’s tax at the time of purchase. Individuals generally can report such purchases and pay the tax when annually filing their Maine income tax returns (Forms 1040ME). For those who do not know the exact amount of purchases subject to the tax, the state has offered filers the choice of using a default amount equal to 0.08% (.0008) of their income. (Transactions reaching the $1,000 and $5,000 thresholds, respectively, are not covered by this shortcut method, and instead are subject to precise or advance reporting.)

Effective with the 2019 filing year, the default rate is decreased by half to 0.04%. This move makes sense, because state withholding rules have expanded tremendously in recent years to require more sellers, including remote sellers (like Amazon), to withhold such taxes at the time of sale.