Post Content

Ellen Cummings, Website Editor, Publishing and Media Services, Department of RevenuePosted by:
Ellen Cummings, Website Editor, Publishing and Media Services, Department of Revenue

Flag Backyard barbecues, parades and fireworks — it wouldn't be the Fourth of July without them — and no celebration would be complete without an American flag, either. The neighborhood where I lived as a kid always had a block party on the Fourth. Admittedly, I was more interested in going to the fireworks with my friends, but seeing Old Glory flying in front of every house was always an impressive sight.

So, what exactly does celebrating America's birthday have to do with taxes? Well, under Massachusetts law, many goods are subject to a 5 percent sales tax, but there are a number of exemptions, too. One particular item exempt from the Massachusetts sales tax is — your guessed it — the US flag. (Check out our Guide to Sales and Use Tax to find out what other types of items are tax-exempt.)

Whether you’re buying a small flag for your grandkids at a parade, or a large one for your home, those flag purchases are tax-free. Remember, though, the exemption applies to US flags only and any red, white and blue decorations, buntings or American flag-themed paraphernalia are taxable. You also may have to pay the sales tax on a "flag kit" if the price of the flag is not separately stated from the price of the flag pole and other parts included in the kit.

Whatever your plans may be — have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Written By:

Recent Posts

It’s All About Plain Talk posted on Aug 13

Commissioner Amy Pitter wants to be sure that the information going out of DOR to taxpayers is clear and concise. If you received a bill, form or notice from the Department of Revenue and are having trouble understanding what actions you need to take, tell   …Continue Reading It’s All About Plain Talk

Take a survey — Your feedback impacts how DOR does business posted on Aug 4

The Department of Revenue wants to hear from taxpayers and anyone who is advocating for taxpayers! DOR has just unveiled its new “How Are We Doing?” survey page, and we’d like you to report in on your customer service experience. This page was created to   …Continue Reading Take a survey — Your feedback impacts how DOR does business

DOR + Social Media — #CheckUsOut posted on Jul 28

DOR + Social Media — #CheckUsOut

  State tax administration might not deliver such seismic news events as LeBron’s eagerly-awaited announcement of his return to his old Cleveland team, but knowing what’s going on at any given moment in the tax world could save you some time and effort, and maybe   …Continue Reading DOR + Social Media — #CheckUsOut