Navigate Up
Sign In
Last Updated: 7/14/2016

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

  • ​Cash register tapes

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Computer hardware and software, Fact Sheet 134

  • Free candy and matches

  • Furniture and fixtures

  • Menus

  • Office equipment and supplies

  • Paper towels

  • Toilet tissue

Cooking and serving equipment

  • Appliances

  • Cookware

  • Dishes and glassware

  • Linens

  • Silverware

  • Tablecloths


  • Electricity
  • Gas for cooking and heating
  • Water

Taxable services

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

Note: Food and bar establishments generally do not qualify for the industrial production and capital equipment exemptions.

Vehicles and trailers

Licensed vehicles and trailers are subject to the 6.5% Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (not the state general sales tax).

Installing equipment and utilities to convert a vehicle or trailer to serve food is taxable.

For more information, see the Motor Vehicle Industry Guide.

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.

< Food at Schools  Nontaxable Purchases >
Return​​​​ to contents page for this guide