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As you know, Governor Baker signed an order on May 1 that took effect on May 6 requiring Massachusetts residents to wear face masks in public when they cannot properly socially distance. Many Massachusetts-based companies have been stepping up to meet the demand for non-medical face masks – some are already established businesses and others are starting anew. DOR wants to make sure taxpayers understand the applicable sales tax rules when purchasing or selling face masks.

If you are already established as a business, you know how to collect and pay sales tax. If you just started a business, you can learn about what to do as a new business here. Generally, you should be collecting tax on sales of face masks, unless they are sold to a non-profit organization, such as a hospital.

If you are purchasing a scarf or bandana to use as a face covering, those items are considered clothing and will not be taxed, unless the purchase price of an individual item is more than $175.00.  Purchases of apparel fabric are also not subject to tax.

We think it’s worth repeating that the Governor discourages residents from using medical grade masks, indicating those should be reserved for medical personnel, first responders, and others on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

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