Starting a company

Fiscal Freedom: Analyzing New Hampshire's Exemption from General Sales Tax

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about New Hampshire sales tax rates
  • Understand sales tax exemptions in New Hampshire
  • Learn about New Hampshire sales tax exemption certificate
  • Understand New Hampshire's Use tax

New Hampshire sales tax rates

New Hampshire, known for its favorable tax environment, stands apart from other states by not imposing a general sales tax. Yes, you read that right! The Granite State prides itself on being one of the few states in the United States that does not burden its residents with a state sales tax. So, if you're planning a shopping spree in the land of natural beauty, rest assured that you won't have to factor in any additional sales tax charges.

The absence of a statewide sales tax in New Hampshire is a boon for consumers and a unique selling point for businesses. This tax advantage draws visitors from neighboring states, as they flock to New Hampshire for the tax-free shopping experience. The absence of sales tax creates an environment where consumers can stretch their dollars further, making it an attractive destination for retail therapy.

However, it's important to note that while New Hampshire doesn't impose a statewide sales tax, it does levy taxes on certain goods and services. These include meals and rentals, where a 9% tax rate applies. Additionally, some local jurisdictions may impose local option taxes on meals and rooms, so it's advisable to check with specific cities or towns if you plan on indulging in dining or lodging.

In summary, New Hampshire proudly stands as a tax haven when it comes to general sales tax. Its commitment to maintaining a sales tax-free environment contributes to its appeal as a shopping destination and fosters a vibrant retail economy. So, whether you're a resident or a visitor, embrace the freedom from sales tax and enjoy the unique shopping experience that New Hampshire has to offer.

New Hampshire sales tax exemptions

In New Hampshire, where there is no general sales tax, residents and visitors benefit from various exemptions that enhance the tax-free environment. These exemptions are crucial in shaping the state's consumer landscape and fostering economic growth.

One of the notable exemptions in New Hampshire is the absence of sales tax on clothing and footwear. Whether you're in the market for a new pair of shoes, a stylish outfit, or even accessories to enhance your wardrobe, you can make purchases without the burden of sales tax. This exemption applies to all types of clothing and footwear, making it a significant advantage for shoppers seeking to update their fashion choices.

Furthermore, New Hampshire exempts most food items from sales tax. This means that groceries, including essential food items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, and bread, are not subject to sales tax. The exemption on food items contributes to the affordability and accessibility of basic necessities, benefiting residents and promoting a higher standard of living.

Another exemption is the absence of sales tax on prescription drugs and certain medical supplies. This exemption ensures that individuals can access necessary medications and medical equipment without additional tax burdens, making healthcare more affordable and accessible.

It is important to remember that while New Hampshire provides numerous sales tax exemptions, specific items or services may be subject to taxation. Examples include meals at restaurants, rentals, and specific entertainment activities. It is advisable to check the specific regulations and guidelines to ensure compliance with any applicable taxes.

New Hampshire sales tax exemption certificate

The New Hampshire sales tax exemption certificate is a crucial document allowing eligible individuals and businesses to purchase without paying sales tax on qualifying items. By submitting this form, individuals and organizations can take advantage of the tax exemptions provided by the state, thereby reducing their overall expenses.

The primary purpose of the New Hampshire sales tax exemption certificate is to establish the purchaser's eligibility for sales tax exemptions. It proves that the buyer is engaged in activities that qualify for exemption under the state's tax laws. This certificate is typically issued by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration or obtained through authorized channels.

Submitting the sales tax exemption certificate is essential for various reasons. Firstly, it enables eligible organizations, such as nonprofit entities, educational institutions, and government agencies, to make purchases for their operations without incurring the additional sales tax cost. This allows these organizations to allocate their funds more efficiently towards their core missions or objectives.

Secondly, the exemption certificate is beneficial for businesses engaged in resale activities. By providing the certificate to their suppliers, businesses can purchase goods and materials without paying sales tax. This ensures businesses can acquire inventory at a lower cost, ultimately helping them maintain competitive prices and operate more effectively.

It's important to note that the sales tax exemption certificate is subject to specific rules and regulations. It must be completed accurately, clearly indicating the purpose of the exemption and providing all necessary information. Additionally, the certificate may need to be renewed periodically to remain valid.

What is New Hampshire Use Tax?

New Hampshire Use Tax is levied on New Hampshire residents' purchases when sales tax was not collected at the time of purchase. It is designed to ensure that residents contribute their fair share of taxes on items purchased out-of-state or from sellers who do not collect New Hampshire sales tax. The use tax rate is the same as the state's sales tax rate, which currently stands at 0%.

The need to apply for New Hampshire Use Tax arises when an individual or business purchases taxable goods or services from outside the state and brings them into New Hampshire for personal or business use. This applies to both online and offline purchases. The purpose of the use tax is to create a level playing field between in-state and out-of-state sellers, preventing residents from avoiding sales tax by making purchases from vendors who do not collect it.

Applying for New Hampshire Use Tax is essential to ensure compliance with the state's tax laws. Individuals can use the appropriate forms provided by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration to report and pay use tax. The use tax owed is typically calculated based on the purchase price of the item or the fair market value, whichever is higher.

It's important to note that not all purchases are subject to use tax. Certain items, such as vehicles registered in New Hampshire, are subject to a separate vehicle use tax. 

Additionally, purchases made within New Hampshire, where sales tax is not imposed, do not require the payment of use tax.


In conclusion, understanding and complying with the sales tax regulations in New Hampshire is crucial for individuals, businesses, and organizations operating within the state. We can emphasize the importance of filing sales tax and maintaining tax compliance by summarizing the key points covered.

Unlike many other states, New Hampshire does not have a general sales tax. This tax advantage contributes to the state's appeal as a shopping destination and fosters a vibrant retail economy. However, it's important to be aware of specific taxes on certain goods and services, such as meals and rentals, which do exist.

The state provides various sales tax exemptions, including clothing and footwear, most food items, and prescription drugs. These exemptions make New Hampshire a haven for shoppers and consumers, enhancing affordability and accessibility of essential goods.

Additionally, the New Hampshire sales tax exemption certificate is crucial in establishing eligibility for exemptions. Organizations, businesses, and eligible individuals must submit this form to enjoy the benefits of tax exemptions and reduce overall expenses.

Moreover, individuals and businesses must also be aware of New Hampshire Use Tax. This tax applies when sales tax was not collected at the time of purchase, ensuring fair taxation on out-of-state purchases brought into the state for personal or business use.

By filing sales tax and complying with the state's tax laws, individuals and businesses contribute their fair share of taxes, support the state's economy, and maintain a level playing field for both in-state and out-of-state sellers.

We can help!

At Levy, we help early-stage founders streamline and automate regulatory and legal ops, HR, and finance so you can focus on what matters most — your business.

Like our content?

Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on new posts. Our blog covers advice, inspiration, and practical guides for early-stage founders navigating their start-up journeys.

Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

Get content like this, and more, sent directly to your inbox once a month.

Thank you for subscribing us!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Stressing the details?

Let levy handle this for you.
Learn more
No items found.