Sales & Excise Taxes

In accordance with changes signed into law in June of 2022, a larger business registrant will be required to use electronic means to file returns and remit taxes to the State of Rhode Island for tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2023.   Visit our Electronic Filing Mandate page for more information on this requirement.

Our Excise Tax Section addresses questions related to sales and use tax, local meals and beverage tax and hotel tax, as well as other miscellaneous excise taxes such as litter fee, motor fuel tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax, cigarette and tobacco taxes, real estate conveyance tax, and others. Please visit the tax specific web pages for more information on each type of tax.

For information on various returns and documents, please visit our Sales & Excise Forms webpage.

Please note that Rhode Island is a Streamlined Sales Tax member state and has a Remote Seller law enacted. 


Taxes Administered

Licenses & Permits

Any manufacturer, wholesaler, jobber or other business establishment which sells any tangible personal property to be used, and not resold, by the purchaser is a retailer.  Every person, firm or organization engaged in the business of making retail sales in this state is required to obtain a permit.  These permits can be obtained from the Division of Taxation.  Every permit holder shall annually, on or before February 1, of each year renew its permit by filing an application for renewal.

Out-of-state vendors conducting activities in Rhode Island must register and obtain a permit to collect the tax.

Any vendor who has an actual business location in Rhode Island or leases tangible personal property here must collect and pay Rhode Island sales/use tax.  There are, as well, other business activities any one of which may require an out-of-state vendor to collect the Rhode Island sales/use tax.  Some of these are:

  1. Solicitation here - Example:  If a Connecticut furniture vendor sends salespeople to Rhode Island to solicit prospective customers, then all sales delivered to Rhode Island purchasers are subject to the Rhode Island sales/use tax.
  2. Delivery here - Example:  If a Massachusetts lumberyard sells sheetrock to a contractor in Rhode Island and delivers it to the customer in its own vehicle, then the sale is subject to the Rhode Island sales/use tax.
  3. Installation and/or Repair of Products here - Example:  If a Massachusetts TV and appliance store sends its service people into Rhode Island to repair a television set previously sold to a Rhode Island customer, then the sale of replacement or repair parts is subject to the Rhode Island sales/use tax.
  4. Remote sellers with gross receipts of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or greater, or two hundred (200) transactions or greater.


Types of Licenses

  • Retail Sales Permit-Annual renewal
  • IFTA License-Annual renewal with no fee
  • Cigarette Distributors License-Annual renewal with fee of $100
  • Cigarette Dealer’s license-annual renewal with fee of $25
  • Airport Parking Permit-annual renewal with no fee


Temporary Permit

The Tax Administrator may issue a temporary permit to any person engaging in retailing in this state for a limited time, or to an itinerant merchant, seasonal retailer, peddler or person selling tangible personal property at retail without a permanent or fixed place of business in Rhode Island.


Flea Market Vendors

Flea market vendors are not issued a permit to make sales at retail but must instead apply for a special flea market vendor's permit.  A flea market vendor's annual registration fee is $120 but a flea market vendor may, at its option, register on a quarterly basis for a fee of $40 or on a 30-day basis for a fee of $10.


Contractors & Rhode Island Tax - A Guide for Businesses

The Restaurant Industry & Rhode Island Tax - A Guide for Businesses


Contact Us

Excise Tax Section


Phone:  401.574.8955