Nontaxable Sales


All sales of tangible personal property and some services are taxable unless an exemption exists in statute or the purchaser provides a completed Form ST3, Certificate of Exemption.

Items Exempt by Law

When an item is exempt from sales or use tax by law, the seller does not have to show why no tax was charged, but must indicate the item was food, clothing, drugs, or another exempt good.

Exemption Certificates

The seller does not have to collect sales tax if the purchaser gives them a completed Form ST3, Certificate of Exemption.

Purchasers may use their own exemption certificate; it must include the customer’s:

  • Name and address
  • State Tax ID Number and state of issue or, as noted below:
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) if purchaser has no state Tax ID
  • Driver’s license number or other state ID number, if purchaser has no state Tax ID or FEIN
  • Type of business
  • Reason for claiming the exemption
  • Signature

Note: The purchaser must provide all of the above information. A certificate missing any of the above information may be rejected.

If an exemption certificate is misused to evade paying sales tax, we may apply a penalty of $100 to each transaction of misuse.

Form ST3 Expiration

Exemption certificates do not expire unless the information on the certificate changes. But we recommend updating exemption certificates every three to four years.

Nontaxable Items

Below is a list of most nontaxable items. An exemption certificate or other documentation may be required.

Nontaxable SalesAdditional Information
Admission tickets - to certain school and nonprofit events
Advertising materials - when shipped out-of-state
Agricultural items - when used in the production process
Air cooling equipment - used to convert or replace ground water cooling systems
Airflight equipment and parts - for certain aircraft
Ambulances - when sold or leased to an ambulance service
Aquaculture equipment - and certain repair and replacement parts
Baby products
Bullet resistant body armor - when purchased by licensed peace officers and state and local law enforcement agencies
Camp fees - when the exemption requirements are met
Caskets, urns for cremains, and burial vaults
Coin-operated entertainment and amusement devices
Construction labor - to construct, repair, or improve real property
Construction purchases - for special projects
Conversion costs - to make vehicles accessible to a person with a disability
Court-reporter transcripts
Cross-country ski passes - for the use of public trails
Custom computer software - when prepared to the special order of the customer
Deliveries outside Minnesota
Detachable tools - when the exemption requirements are met
Direct mail delivery or distribution charges - when listed separately on the invoice
Drugs - for prescription or over-the-counter for use by humans
Farm machinery - when used in the agricultural production process, including repair and replacement parts except tires
Feminine hygiene products
Fire-safety sprinkler systems - and all components installed into existing residential dwellings, hotels, motels, or lodging houses with four or more units
Firearm storage units
Food - groceries for human consumption
Fundraising sales - when made by or for a nonprofit organization and if certain criteria are met
Health products
Horse and horse-care supplies - including feed and medications
Industrial production materials - when used or consumed in the industrial production process
Instructional materials - when required to be used directly in the completion of a course of study by students at a qualifying school
Interest of finance charges
Logging equipment - when used in a qualifying activity, including repair or replacement parts except tires
Medical equipment - for home use, including mobility enhancing equipment and prosthetic devices
Memberships - for YMCA, YWCA, and Jewish Community Centers of Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul, including one-time initiation fees and periodic membership dues
Mill liners, grinding rods, and grinding balls - when consumed in the production of taconite or other ores, metals, or minerals
Newspapers and publications - if regularly issued every three months or less
Occasional sales - of some business equipment, when exemption requirements are met
Patent, trademark, and copyright drawings and documents
Patient meals - served in hospitals, sanitariums, nursing homes, senior citizen's homes, correctional detention, and detoxification facilities
Personal computers and related software - for use in a public or private school, college, university, or business or trade school for regularly enrolled students
Petroleum products - in certain situations
Pollution control equipment - in qualifying circumstances
Poultry feed - to raise poultry for human consumption
Prizes for games of skill of chance - for games conducted at events such as carnivals, festivals, and fairs lasting fewer than six days
Public safety radio communication system
Repair labor - if listed separately on the invoice
Residential electricity and natural gas - during the billing months of November through April
Residential utilities - provided on a year-round basis (fuel oil, coal, wood, steam, hot water, propane, LP gas, and water services)
Sacramental wine - used in religious ceremonies
Service materials - used or consumed in providing taxable services, including utilities and short-lived detachable tools
School meals - for pre-kindergarten - 12th grade, childcare or early childhood education programs
Ship repair and replacement parts and lubricants - when used by ships or vessels engaged principally in interstate or foreign commerce
Ski areas - and items used or consumed directly for tramways, snowmaking, and snow grooming at ski hills, ski slopes, or ski trails
Solar energy systems
Special tooling - that has value and use only for the buyer and only for the use of which it was made
Telecommunications and pay television equipment
Textbooks - when required for classes in qualifying schools and sold to regularly enrolled students
Trade-in allowances
Tree, brush, and shrub removal - for contractors as part of a land-clearing contract
TV commercials - and items used or consumed in pre-production, production, or post-production
Unsweetened water
Used mobile homes - for residential purposes
Waste-management containers and compactors
Wind energy conversion systems - and materials used to manufacture, install, construct, repair, or replace them