Q:

What items are taxable under the Pennsylvania sales tax?

A:

Quick Answer

All items except for food, clothing, resale items, drugs, textbooks and residential heating fuels are taxable in Pennsylvania, as explained by Avalara TaxRates. The state is considered tax-friendly for retirees especially, since medications aren't taxable, and neither is Social Security.

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Full Answer

In most of Pennsylvania, the state tax rate is 6 percent, as of 2015. However, it is as high as 8 percent in certain locations, according to Avalara TaxRates. Pennsylvania provides a retailer's information guide with all of the state's taxable items. These items include books and stationary, business equipment, cosmetics, flowers, food and beverages sold from a caterer as well as hobby supplies, household goods, pets and tobacco products. There is no income tax on qualified retirement income. Property taxes are quite high in certain areas.

Pennsylvania is one of a few states with a single, statewide sales tax, reports Avalara TaxRates. Trustfile, software owned by Avalara, is the only approved third-party vendor for filing sales tax in the state.

Businesses that have taxable sales within the state must collect sales tax, explains Avalara Tax Rates. As an example, Amazon.com owns several fulfillment centers that it operates in Pennsylvania. Because of this, it creates a sales tax obligation for Amazon and any businesses involved in Amazon's seller central and fulfillment programs.

The history of sales taxes in the United States dates back to a license tax that Pennsylvania imposed back in 1821, as reported by Avalara TaxRates.

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