Publications and Subscriptions are Now Subject to Maine Sales Tax

Monday, October 21st, 2013


The Maine Revenue Service (MRS) recently released updated guidance on sales of publications. Publications, and subscriptions to publications, are subject to Maine sales tax.

Maine's sales tax is imposed on both tangible personal property and products delivered electronically. Previously, Maine exempted sales of publications that were regularly issued at average intervals not exceeding three months. Effective October 1, 2013, however, this exemption is repealed and sales of publications, and subscriptions to publications, are taxable. Publications include magazines, newspapers, newspaper inserts, comic books, puzzle books, tabloids, advertising magazines, newsletters, bulletins, and advertising material packaged for mail distribution.

Digital copies of publications are taxable if they are delivered electronically (i.e. downloaded by the subscriber). However, digital publications are not subject to tax if they are not delivered electronically. If a subscriber can only view an online version of the publication without being able to download it, the product has not been delivered electronically. Digital subscriptions are not subject to the tax if the subscriber cannot download the publication.

Finally, in a supplemental publication, the MRS has advised printers and publishers of free publications and components to publications (e.g. advertising flyer inserts) of the possibility of retroactive legislation being enacted in the upcoming year which would exempt sales of such materials. Therefore, the MRS recommends that these printers and publishers keep careful track of their taxable sales and purchases to aid in any future claims for refund.

About TTR

Transaction (buying or selling things), Tax (the tax on this activity), Resources (our people, our website, our support services) - TTR, Inc.

TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

TTR likes to keep things simple and fun, which is why it has great people who provide help to clients on any support questions they have about transaction tax issues.

Please visit TTR on the web at or call 866.578.8193.

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