PA Sales and Use/Tax Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
Sales and Use Tax in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is 6% on taxable items and falls into two categories - items you purchase and items you sell.
Items you purchase:
- You are not required to pay sales tax on items that you purchase for resale. You may be required by a vendor to provide a Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate (REV-1220). The certificate can be downloaded from the PA Department of Revenue's Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax Forms Search page.
- You are required to pay sales or use tax on taxable items that you purchase for use in your practice, i.e., equipment, furniture, supplies, etc. Making these purchases from a vendor outside of Pennsylvania who does not collect sales tax does not exempt you from liability for this tax. (See Use Tax below.)
Items you sell:
- Ophthalmic materials for the most part are not subject to Pennsylvania Sales Tax.
- Specifically, the Sales Tax law exempts prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, contact lenses and contact lens wetting solutions. However, contact lens cleaning solutions, non-prescription sunglasses, magnifying glasses, opera and field glasses are taxable as are items such as eyeglass holders. To view documentation on the Department of Revenue's website:
- Go to the PA Department of Revenue's Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax Forms Search page.
- Click on "Retailers' Information (REV-717)" link
- Optical Goods list appears on page 32
Use Tax is the companion tax to Sales Tax, and is owed when Sales Tax has not been charged by the vendor on a taxable purchase or service. This refers specifically to items you purchase for use as the term implies. For example, when purchasing equipment, furniture or any other taxable item from an out-of-state business not registered to collect and remit Pennsylvania Sales Tax, the purchaser is responsible for paying the 6% Use Tax to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. The tax is due whether the purchase is made from a sales rep, by phone, through mail order or via the Internet.
Do you need a Sales Tax License?
If you sell taxable items, you are required to register, have a sales tax license and to collect and remit sales tax on them. If you do not sell any taxable items, you do not need a sales tax license.
The onlne application for a Sales and Use Tax License (Online PA-100) is available at the PA Department of Revenue’s PA Business Tax e-Services page.
Electronic payment of Sales and Use Tax can also be accessed through the PA Department of Revenue’s PA Business Tax e-Services page. by selecting the Business Tax Electronic Filing (e-TIDES) link.
Vendors in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties are also required to collect and remit a local sales/use tax on taxable items. If you are in one of those two areas, you can remit the tax on the same form used to remit the PA Sales and Use Tax. As of the end of 2009, the amount in Allegheny County is 1% and in Philadelphia 2%.