Maryland Sales Tax Exemptions / Tax Free Items Maryland:


What purchases are exempt from the Maryland sales tax?

While the Maryland sales tax of 6.00% applies to most transactions, there are certain items that may be exempt from taxation. This page discusses various sales tax exemptions in Maryland.

Sales Tax Exemptions in Maryland

In Maryland, certain items may be exempt from the sales tax to all consumers, not just tax-exempt purchasers.

Several exemptions to the state sales tax are certain types of prescription medication, some medical equipment and devices, certain types of food (specifically snack food), and certain items which are used for farming.

Many states have special, lowered sales tax rates for certain types of staple goods - such as groceries, clothing and medicines. Restaurant meals may also have a special sales tax rate. Here are the special category rates for Maryland:





Prepared Food


Prescription Drugs


OTC Drugs


These categories may have some further qualifications before the special rate applies, such as a price cap on clothing items. Groceries are generally defined as "unprepared food", while pre-prepared food may be subject to the restaurant food tax rate.

Candy and soda may be included or excluded from any preferential tax rate depending on whether or not the state considers them to be a "grocery":

Is candy taxable in Maryland? Candy is NOT considered a grocery in Maryland
Is soda taxable in Maryland? Soda is NOT considered a grocery in Maryland

Are services, shipping, installation, etc taxable in Maryland?

The taxability of transactions involving services, shipping, and installation of tangible goods can be slightly complicated with various laws applying to slightly different situations. To learn more about how these transactions, and other more complicated situations, are subject to the Maryland sales tax see the Maryland sales taxability FAQ page.

Other tax-exempt items in Maryland

This table lists a number of additional categories of goods and services that are exempt from Maryland's sales tax. For a list that also shows taxable items, see the list of taxable and nontaxable items in Maryland.

Category Exemption Status
Food and Meals
Grocery Food EXEMPT
Manufacturing and Machinery
Machinery EXEMPT
Raw Materials EXEMPT
Utilities & Fuel EXEMPT
Medical Goods and Services
Medical Devices EXEMPT
Medical Services EXEMPT
Medicines EXEMPT
Occasional Sales
General Occasional Sales EXEMPT *
Motor Vehicles EXEMPT *
Optional Maintenance Contracts
General Optional Maintenance Contracts EXEMPT
Transportation Services EXEMPT
Software and Digital Products
Canned Software - Downloaded EXEMPT *
Custom Software - Delivered on Tangible Media EXEMPT
Custom Software - Downloaded EXEMPT
Customization of Canned Software EXEMPT *
Digital Products EXEMPT

* See notes in category taxability page for details

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** This Document Provided By SalesTaxHandbook **

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