the tax man

tn_jedMarch 26, 2010

i am trying to find out about sales tax, do market gardeners have to charge tax, this is my 3rd year selling at the local market and i am now a market manager, i am trying to figure out if we are supposed to be paying tax and if not why i am new to this and just trying to figure out all that it involves, we are a small producer market meaning the only things allowed to be sold must be grown by the seller. there are no regulations in place in this state on fresh fruits and vegetables, processed things like jams, jellies, canned foods, snapped beans or shucked corn can not be sold at our market, and must be prepared in a certified kitchen. so i am wondering how we get around the taxes, are we exempt or are we breaking the law somehow. at what point do we need to think about taxes, is there a limit to how much you can make until you have to charge tax ????

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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

tn jed,

Are small local Farmers market is like yours. Certified kitchen for processed foods and legal scale required if selling by the pound. Can't say your Organic unless Certified.

Taxes, you are probably breaking the law, but plead ignorance. You may at least have to declare it on your income tax. When customers ask use if there is tax, we just say it's in the price. We don't want to deal with nickles, dimes and pennies. We sell our produce to the nearest quarter.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 6:18PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

in north carolina there is no sales tax at farmers markets for produce, fruits and vegetables . Processed foods and baked goods not so sure will have to look at that.

you can say u are organic if you are not certified u just can not use the national logo and your sales have to be less than $ 5,000 dollars per year.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 6:37PM
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In Indiana, plant sales are taxable. Otherwise, you MUST collect sales tax and report it. I sell my plants with the sales tax already included, and then report the tax to the state. Each state will have different items that are taxed and those that aren't taxed. You will need to check with your State Revenue office, they can and will guide you. Just don't tell them that you have already been doing, just tell them that you need to find out for the future.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 7:39PM
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Indiana all food unless cooked or served at a restaraunt is not taxed, you need to get with a local tax attorney to figure out your local laws, state taxes differ state to state

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:56AM
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Actually Josh, food that is the type that's classified as "make and take" are taxed. Fresh produce is not, herbs as plants are, but not as cut herbs. Our revenue office had to go to state to determine the fine lines for me.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:04PM
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Just do a google search for your state's department of Revenue or Taxation and go to their website. My state has an easy on-line process because we ARE required to charge tax on our items and on occasion, the tax people do visit flea markets and farmers markets to see if people are charging tax. It's rare, but they do check on occasion. The other farmers tell me they include the tax in their prices so there is not a lot of nickels and dimes as someone else said. It seems this is a form, tax, process for everything. I keep learning that. I sell my own transplants, I grow myself and I have to pay a $5 fee to the state's noxious weeds programs for a live plant dealer stamp. If I sold more than $10,000 worth I would have to buy a license for $60. Then there's the rider for liability on my insurance policy, the market fees, certification for a special seniors program our state has where they distribute $30 worth of coupons to low-income elderly for exclusive use at farmers markets for fresh veggies and fruits only. All the states are different. Our state is pretty cut-and-dried on a lot of things and other states are boggled in bureaucracy.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 1:55PM
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ok thank you all good information here. gives me an idea i do not want to go to the revenue ppl myself and tell them what we are doing, i don't want them to start comming to check up on us. but i have a friend that is a lawyer and could probably look it up real quik for me thanks again

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 4:03PM
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No tax on produce in OH, including plants.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 3:11PM
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As far as I know it is up to the individual farmers, and not the market, to figure out if you owe the state sales tax. Farmers markets themselves, generally, are not selling anything. The farmers are essentially contractors and thus responsible for their own taxes.

It is very helpful, though, if the market manager knows the basic tax laws of the state (along with the county health regs and the Dept of Ag food regs) so they can relay that information to the vendors.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 5:22AM
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