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Understanding New Hampshire Sales and Use Taxes

Filed under Sales Taxes. Fact checked on February 13, 2013.

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New Hampshire does not impose any form of general sales tax upon the sale or use of tangible personal property within the state. New Hampshire does, however, levy a tax on meals, room occupancies, and motor vehicle rentals.

All Restaurant Meals are Taxed

In New Hampshire any food or beverage that is prepared and served by a restaurant, whether served for consumption on or off the restaurant premises, is considered to be a meal. Excluded from the term is any food and beverage that is wholly packaged off the premises except for sandwiches, beverages in unsealed containers, and catered or delivered meals.

Restaurants include most places where you can buy any food. There are several exceptions. For example, meals served or furnished on the premises of a religious or charitable nonprofit organization are not taxable. The New Hampshire meals tax rate is currently 9 percent.

Sleeping Accommodations Are Taxed

The rooms tax is imposed on any occupancy in a hotel or any similar establishment offering sleeping accommodations in the State of New Hampshire. The tax rate is currently 9 percent of the rent for each occupancy.

Motor Vehicle Rentals Are Taxed

A motor vehicle rental tax is imposed under the meals and room tax classification at a rate of 9 percent on the gross rental receipts of each rental.

Vendor Must Collect Tax

The tax on meals, rooms, and vehicle rentals is collected from the purchaser of a meal, room occupant, or vehicle renter by the business owner. The owner may either state the tax as a separate item or include it in the price of the meal, occupancy, or rental.

Licenses Are Required

If you are serving taxable meals or renting rooms or motor vehicles, you must obtain a license from the state. The application (Form CD-3) must be submitted to the Department of Revenue Administration.

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