Sales made at flea markets are subject to Maryland's 6 percent sales and use tax like most other sales. There are no local sales taxes in Maryland. Although the items sold may be used or already previously taxed, the tax imposed at flea markets is on the transaction or sale and not on the property sold.
Effective January 3, 2008, a vendor may assume and absorb all or any part of the sales and use tax on a retail sale and pay that tax on behalf of the buyer. The vendor must, however, continue to separately state the tax from the sales price at the time of sale to the purchaser. If the vendor absorbs all or any part of the tax on the sale, the vendor shall pay the tax with the return that covers the period in which the vendor makes the sale.
The tax applies to most sales including,
- Sales by a full or part-time dealer;
- Any of the property being offered for sale, whether new or used, was purchased or made solely for resale;
- Sales by nonprofit organizations, even if the goods are donated to them;
- Sales by private individuals, even if they plan to donate the proceeds to a nonprofit organization;
- all sales of food (see exemption below); and,
- Candy, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages even when sales of food are not taxable
Sales Exempt from Tax,
- Casual and isolated sales of less than $1,000 which would cover sales of a seller's own household goods;
- Sales by religious organizations;
- Sales of food by volunteer fire companies and veterans’ organizations;
- Sales of agricultural products such as produce and vegetable plants by a farmer; and,
- Sales of food intended for consumption off the premises made by a person operating a substantial grocery or market business, when there is no flea market admission charge.
Always collect tax on sales to other dealers unless they present you with a resale certificate bearing their Maryland sales tax registration number. However, out-of-state dealers who are not required to collect the Maryland tax may use their out-of-state sales tax registration number on a resale certificate to purchase antiques and used collectibles. Dealers from states that do not impose a sales tax may provide a valid trader's license or comparable document. Resale certificates are not valid for cash, check or credit card sales of less than $200 unless the product is delivered to the customer's place of business.
For more information on the applicability of the tax or exemptions from the tax, see Business Tax Tip 14 - Flea Market Sales are Subject to Tax.
30-day permit or permanent license
To collect the sales and use tax you must first obtain a license. You should register as soon as possible. If you don't register now and are later found to be making taxable sales without collecting the tax, you will be liable for back taxes. You can get either a 30-day permit or a permanent license. If you sell at only one or two flea markets a year, a 30-day permit should be sufficient.
If you sell frequently, you can benefit more from a permanent license. Permanent licensees don't have to pay the tax on items they buy to resell if they present a resale certificate. However, there are limitations. Permanent licensees may also deduct a collection fee on the reporting form. The fee is deducted from the taxes collected.
You can get the 30-day permit by calling the Special Events Section at 410-767-1543 or 410-767-1531. For a permanent license, file a Combined Registration Application online.