Rhode Island - Sales and Use Tax Exemptions and Exemption Certificates

Rhode Island sales tax is imposed on retail sales or rentals of tangible personal property and on the sales and rentals of living quarters in hotels, rooming houses, or tourist camps sold at retail in the state. (R.I Gen. Laws § 44-18-18)


Some of the sales and use taxes exemptions in Rhode Island are:

Rhode Island Exempt Entities: Sale of any tangible personal property to the United States, its agencies and instrumentalities; hospitals not operated for profit, educational institutions not operated for profit, churches, orphanages, and other institutions or organizations operated exclusively for religious or charitable purposes, interest free loan associations not operated for profit, nonprofit organized sporting leagues and associations and bands for boys and girls under the age of 19 years, the following vocational student organizations that are state chapters of national vocational students organizations: Distributive Education Clubs of America, (DECA); Future Business Leaders of America/Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA/PBL); Future Farmers of America (FFA); Future Homemakers of America/Home Economics Related Occupations (FHA/HERO); and organized nonprofit Golden Agers and senior citizens clubs for men and women, and parent-teacher associations; sales to federal contractors.

Rhode Island Exempt Usage: Fuel used in the heating of homes and residential premises, electricity and gas furnished for domestic use; tangible personal property and supplies used in on-site hazardous waste recycling, reuse, or treatment; equipment used for research and development; tangible personal property and supplies used in the processing or preparation of floral products and floral arrangements; machinery and equipment used directly for commercial farming and agricultural production.

Rhode Island Exempt Products: Food and food ingredients; medicines, medical equipments, coffins, caskets or burial garments; aircraft, renewable energy products, returned property, dietary supplements sold on prescriptions; blood; prewritten computer software delivered electronically; agricultural products for human consumption; diesel emission control technology; buses, trucks and trailers in interstate commerce; meals served by public, private, school districts, colleges, universities,and parent teacher associations to the students/teachers; electricity, steam and thermal energy which is produced, transmitted and/or sold by the Rhode Island economic development corporation. (R. I. Gen. Laws §§ 44-18-30 through 44-18-40.1)

CAUTION: Sales tax exemptions mentioned above are very briefly described. Please see the exemption statute and the applicable regulations for details. Transactions that do not meet the requirements of the exemption statute and its applicable regulations do not qualify for the sales tax exemptions.

RHODE ISLAND EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES: It is presumed that all gross receipts are subject to the sales tax, and that the use of all tangible personal property is subject to the use tax, and that all tangible personal property sold or in processing or intended for delivery or delivered in this state is sold or delivered for storage, use, or other consumption in this state, until the contrary is established. (R. I. Gen. Laws §§ 44-18-25) Governmental agencies or instrumentalities are not required to furnish exemption certificates to their suppliers. However, the seller must make appropriate notations in his/her records covering his/her sales to such governmental agencies or instrumentalities (Regulation SU 07-48)

Rhode Island Application of Exemption

Rhode Island Resale Exemption: Sellers may accept either the Streamlined Sale Tax Certificate of Exemption or a Rhode Island Resale Certificate from a purchaser who purchases property for resale. (Regulation SU 07-95)

Rhode Island Other Exemptions

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