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Last Updated: 6/1/2017


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 the table below for specific examples.

Taxable Purchases


General items

  • Cash registers and register tapes
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Computer hardware and software, see Fact Sheet 134
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Lawn care  and landscaping supplies
  • Office equipment and supplies
  • Pool supplies and chemicals
  • Security systems
  • Snow removal equipment

Lodging and other complimentary service items

  • Beds and mattresses
  • Draperies and bedspreads
  • Exercise equipment
  • Linens and towels
  • Paper towels
  • Postcards, stationery, envelopes, and pens
  • Soap, shampoo, and complimentary personal items
  • Telephones, radios, TVs, and DVD players
  • Toilet tissue

Cooking and serving equipment

  • Appliances
  • Cookware
  • Dishes and glassware
  • Linens
  • Silverware
  • Tablecloths


  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water

Taxable services

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

Promotional items

  • Business cards
  • Matches
  • Specialty advertising materials

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.


Nontaxable purchases

Items for resale

You may purchase items exempt for resale if both of these conditions apply:

  • you sell the item at retail or hold the item exclusively for lease or rental to the customer
  • the charges for these items are separately stated from the lodging accommodations

To purchase items exempt for resale, give your seller a completed Form ST3, Certificate of Exemption.

Examples of items for resale include:

  • guest laundry services
  • paper cups, napkins, etc. sold as part of a meal or drink (except for complimentary meal or drink)
  • pop, candy, and other items sold at retail or in vending machines
  • recreational equipment to be rented separately

Coin-operated entertainment and amusement devices

Retailers may buy these devices exempt from tax if they sell admissions to or use of the devices.

Examples of coin-operated entertainment and amusement devices include:

  • fortune-telling machines
  • pool tables
  • batting cages
  • jukeboxes

Note: Vending machines, lottery devices, or gaming devices do not qualify for this exemption.

For more information, see Fact Sheet 158, Vending Machines and Other Coin-Operated Devices.

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