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Vermont Sales Tax Explained_ Insider Tips for Business Success

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the importance of sales tax for Vermont consumers and businesses.
  • Learn about the history and current rate of Vermont Sales Tax
  • Become familiar with Sales Tax Exemptions in Vermont
  • Get to know about Tools and resources available for sales tax calculation
  • Analyse Penalties for Sales Tax Non-compliance in Vermont

Brief explanation of Vermont Sales Tax

The Vermont Sales Tax is a state-imposed consumption tax levied on selling certain goods and services. It is levied at the point of sale and is added to the cost of taxable items. Sales tax money is used to pay for various state programs and services.

Importance of understanding sales tax for Vermont consumers and businesses

Understanding Vermont's sales tax is critical for both consumers and businesses. Knowing the sales tax rate and which items are taxable might help consumers budget and plan their purchases more successfully. It enables customers to precisely calculate the entire cost of the items and services they wish to purchase. Understanding sales tax is critical for businesses to comply with state tax rules. Businesses must collect customers' sales tax.

Understanding the Vermont Sales Tax Rate

History and current rate of Vermont Sales Tax

Vermont's sales tax history extends back to 1969, when it was first adopted. The sales tax rate was initially set at 3%, although it has changed multiple times. Vermont's current sales tax rate is 6%.

Comparison with the national average and neighboring states' sales tax

When compared to the national average, Vermont's sales tax rate is higher. The average combined state and local sales tax rate in the United States was roughly 7.1%. Vermont's sales tax rate of 6% is slightly lower than the national average. Vermont's sales tax rate is greater in certain neighboring states and lower in others.  

Impact of Vermont Sales Tax on the State's Economy

The Vermont sales tax has a wide-ranging impact on the state's economy. Sales tax revenue contributes to the state government's overall revenue stream, funding different public services, infrastructure projects, education, healthcare, and other programs. Sales taxes can have both positive and bad economic consequences. On the one hand, they provide revenue that can be used to support government programs and services. On the other hand, sales taxes can raise the cost of products and services, thus lowering consumer spending and harming businesses, particularly small enterprises.

Vermont Sales Tax and its Impact on Different Sectors

Vermont Retail Sales Tax: Effects on retail businesses

The Vermont Retail Sales Tax is a sales tax levied in Vermont on the sale of tangible personal property. Vermont's current sales tax rate is 6%, which is applied to the purchase price of taxable items. The tax is normally collected at the point of sale by the retailer and remitted to the state.

Vermont Service-oriented Business Tax: Effects on service-oriented businesses

In addition, Vermont levies a sales tax on certain services offered by service-oriented firms. Services are typically taxed at 6%, similar to retail sales tax. However, not all services in Vermont are subject to sales tax, and particular exclusions and restrictions govern which services are taxed.

Vermont Tourism Sales Tax: Effects on the tourism industry

Vermont levies a sales tax on tourism-related goods and services like lodging. The current tax rate for lodging is 9%, and for prepared meals, it is 9% plus an additional 1% local option tax in some areas.

Sales Tax Exemptions in Vermont

Definition and understanding of Sales Tax Exemptions

Sales tax exemptions are specified categories of goods or services that are not taxed. They are exceptions to the general rule that most purchases are subject to sales tax. The state government levies a sales tax on the sale of products and some services within its authority. Sales tax exemptions are frequently used to relieve or reward specific individuals, organizations, or activities.

Sales Tax Exempt Items in Vermont

In Vermont, several items and categories are free from sales tax. Some common examples are:

  • Food
  • Prescription medications
  • Clothing
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Agricultural goods
  • Education

How to Apply for Sales Tax Exemption in Vermont

To file for sales tax exemption in Vermont, you must first complete the following steps:

1. Obtain the required documentation

2. Become a member of the Vermont Department of Taxation.

3. Keep accurate records.

4. Show the exemption certificate.

Compliance with Vermont Sales Tax

Step-by-step guide for Sales Tax Calculation in Vermont

Step-by-step instructions for calculating Vermont sales tax:

  1. Determine whether you are in charge of collecting sales tax.
  2. Create a Vermont Sales Tax Account
  3. Collect the applicable sales tax rate.
  4. Determine the sales tax.
  5. Maintain accurate records.
  6. Filing and submitting sales tax returns

Tools and resources available for sales tax calculation

In Vermont, the following tools and resources are available for calculating sales tax:

Website of the Vermont Department of Taxation

Online filing and payment procedure for sales tax rates

Accounting software and sales tax software

Penalties for Sales Tax Non-compliance in Vermont

Late filing penalty: You may be penalized if you fail to file your sales tax return by the required date. The penalty is usually a percentage of the tax owed, and it grows the longer the return is not filed.

Late payment penalty: You may be penalized if you do not remit the sales tax received by the due date. 

Interest charges: If you do not pay the sales tax on time, you will be charged interest on the outstanding amount. The Vermont Department of Taxation sets the interest rate, usually based on the federal underpayment rate.

Additional fines may apply for intentional fraud or willful evasion of sales tax requirements.

Understanding the Vermont Use Tax

The Vermont Use Tax is a tax levied in Vermont on the use, storage, or consumption of tangible personal property. It is similar to the sales tax in that it ensures that taxable items used or consumed in Vermont are taxed, even if they were acquired from out-of-state vendors who did not collect sales tax at the time of purchase. While shops normally collect sales tax at the point of sale, use tax applies when the retailer does not collect sales tax. This is common when a merchant is based outside of Vermont and has no physical presence or nexus in the state. In such instances, the burden of remitting

Circumstances under which consumers and businesses need to pay use tax

Consumers and businesses in Vermont need to pay use tax under certain circumstances. Here are a few scenarios where use tax may be applicable.

Out-of-state purchases: If you buy tangible personal property from a shop outside of Vermont that does not collect Vermont sales tax, you must pay use tax on the purchase. This is true whether you purchase the item online, over the phone, through mail-order catalogs, or on out-of-state shopping visits.

Recent Changes and Future Predictions in Vermont Tax Policies

Businesses in Vermont may be required to pay use tax on untaxed business purchases. This includes purchases made from out-of-state suppliers and those where no sales tax was collected.

Predicted future changes in Sales Tax in Vermont and the reasons behind them

If you purchase tangible personal property to resell it, but no sales tax was collected at the time of purchase, you must pay use tax on such things. Tax regulations change regularly, so getting the most up-to-date and correct information from official sources like the Vermont Department of Taxes or consulting a tax specialist is critical. Sales tax regulation changes may emerge due to the state's revenue requirements. If Vermont experiences budget problems or needs more financing for certain public services, officials may explore raising sales tax rates or broadening the tax base to obtain more income. Economic situations can have an impact on tax policies. If Vermont sees rapid economic growth, legislators may consider lowering sales tax rates to encourage consumer spending and company growth.

In contrast, during economic downturns, authorities may consider raising tax rates to offset revenue losses or support critical programs. Sales tax policy changes might be aligned with specific policy aims. For example, legislators may explore increasing sales tax exemptions or lowering rates on specific items or services to boost industries or activities deemed advantageous to the state's economy, environment, or public health.


The sales tax can also impact consumer behavior and spending habits. The government can reward or discourage specific economic activities by taxing specific commodities and services. For example, by taxing luxury things more heavily, the government can encourage consumers to choose critical goods or products with lower tax rates. This can impact organizations when they adjust their pricing strategy and product offers to match consumer preferences. The Vermont Sales Tax is important for both consumers and companies. It funds governmental services, infrastructure development, and economic growth while impacting consumer behavior and market dynamics.

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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.

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