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Last Updated: 6/1/2017

Taxable Purchases and Use Tax

Taxable Purchases

Items you use to operate your business are taxable unless an exemption applies. Several services are also taxable. If you do not pay sales tax on a taxable purchase, then use tax is due. See below for specific examples.

Taxable Purchases


General items

  • Cleaning supplies and chemicals
  • Communication devices
  • Computer hardware and software, see Fact Sheet 134
  • Copies
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Office equipment and supplies
  • Supplies (paper cups, paper towels, toilet tissue)

Dental items

  • Composite tips
  • Dental models and impression materials
  • Dental tools and equipment, including disposable
  • Durable medical equipment for use in clinic, including repair parts
  • Laboratory supplies and equipment
  • Medical manuals, books, charts, pamphlets
  • Needles and syringes for diagnostic use
  • Tooth polishing cups/brushes and medication dispensers
  • X-ray equipment and film, including bite wing pressure tabs

For more examples, see a list of Taxable Dental Items.

Items given away

  • Appointment reminder cards or stickers
  • Business cards
  • Calendars
  • Oral hygiene products given to patients to take home (floss, mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpaste)
  • Toys and stickers

Protective equipment

  • Bibs for patient
  • Face masks, head covers, sleeve shields
  • Gloves designed for protection against injury, but not general use gloves
  • Safety glasses and goggles (nonprescription)
  • X-ray protective clothing and equipment


  • Electricity, gas, and water

Taxable services

 For more information, see a complete list of taxable services.

Use tax

If you buy equipment, supplies, or other taxable items for your business and the seller does not charge Minnesota sales tax, you owe use tax on the cost of the items. If your business is located in an area with a local tax, you may also owe local use tax.

Some common situations where you may owe use tax include:

  • You buy taxable items or services online without paying sales tax
  • You withdraw an item from inventory to use (instead of selling it), donate, or give away
  • You buy taxable items outside of Minnesota
  • You buy taxable items in another Minnesota city or county with a lower (or no) local sales tax

For more information, see Fact Sheet 146, Use Tax for Businesses and Fact Sheet 164, Local Sales and Use Taxes.

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