Sales and Use Taxes: Basics Guide

Idaho has a sales tax and a use tax.

Sales and use taxes apply to the sale of goods and services, unless an exemption applies. (See Sales and Use and Idaho Code 63-3612 for more information.)

Tax rates

Idaho’s sales tax rate is 6%. Idaho’s use tax rate is also 6%.

Basics of sales tax

Sales tax applies to every retail sale. Examples of sales include:

  • The sale, lease, or rental of tangible personal property (goods)
  • Digital books, videos, music, or games with a permanent right for the buyer to use
  • Short-term rental accommodations for 30 days or less
  • Furnishing meals or drinks
  • Admissions to events or places in Idaho
  • The privilege to use personal property or facilities for recreation
  • Production, fabrication, printing, or imprinting labor

Basics of use tax

Use tax applies to goods used or stored in Idaho if:

  • The seller didn’t charge sales tax.
  • The buyer didn’t pay at least 6% sales tax (such as on goods bought while in another state).
  • The buyer bought something online and didn’t pay 6% Idaho
  • The purchase doesn’t qualify for an exemption. Or, the goods are used in a way that no longer qualifies for the original exemption claimed.

See Use Tax for more information.


Buyers owe sales tax on goods they use or store in Idaho. This includes goods they buy in person, out-of-state, online, by telephone, or from a mail-order catalog.

Buyers owe use tax if they didn’t correctly pay sales tax – or didn’t pay at least 6% sales tax – on taxable goods, and they don’t qualify for an exemption. See Use Tax for more information.

Idaho offers some exemptions from sales and use taxes when buying goods. See Sales Tax Exemptions for more information.


Almost everyone selling goods or offering taxable services in Idaho must:

  • Have a seller’s permit
  • Collect sales tax
  • File a return for sales and use taxes
  • Forward the tax they collected to the Tax Commission

See Who Needs a Seller’s Permit for more information. Also see Sales and Use Taxes for more about specific sellers, permits, and exemptions that apply to sellers.

You might not need a seller’s permit if you only make a couple of sales per year. See Occasional Sellers for more information.

What's in the taxable purchase price

You owe sales or use tax on the following items, even if they’re separately stated on the invoice:

Freight-in to the retailer

Fees charged for shipping goods to the retailer, who then passes the charges to the buyer

Manufacturer’s or importer’s excise tax

U.S. federal taxes that are charged to the retailer before the retail sale, but might still be a separate item on the invoice to the buyer

Example: Taxes on cars, gasoline, beer, wine, and cigarettes

Certain services the seller performs as part of the sale

Certain services

Example: Assembling an item for a fee; Clothing alterations charged at the time of the sale

Certain fees

Certain surcharges or fees

  • Fees for paying with a credit card, debit card, or gift card 
  • Environmental or disposal fees (except those that a government agency directly imposes)
  • Fuel surcharges that aren’t tied to delivery

What's not in the taxable purchase price

You don’t owe sales or use tax on the following items, if they’re separately stated on the invoice:

Shipping and handling

Shipping and handling charges for shipping the goods directly to the buyer

Installation labor

Installation labor, such as the labor to install a television in a home at the time of the sale

Repair labor

Repair labor, such as the labor to fix a customer’s television

  • Parts used to make repairs are taxable.
  • Labor to install parts isn’t taxable (e.g., installing parts in a car after the sale of the car).
  • Labor to repair goods you own isn’t taxable. (See the Repair Shops guide.)

Insurance charges

Charges for optional insurance on goods rented or sold.

Certain interest charges

Interest, carrying charges, service charges or financing charges on goods sold

Note: Special rules apply to interest, service, and financing charges on leases. See Renting and Leasing Tangible Personal Property.

U.S. federal excise taxes

U.S. federal excise taxes that the retailer charges the customer at the time of the retail sale. The retailer pays the supplier the tax when the retailer buys the items for resale. The retailer then charges and separately states the excise tax on the invoice.

Example: New, large tractor-trailer units

Trade-in allowances

Trade-in allowances on merchandise traded in for other goods

  • Can cover all or part of the purchase price.
  • Goods traded in must be added to the seller’s inventory.

Example: Donna buys a range from Sam’s Appliances for $800. Sam’s agrees to give Donna a $250 trade-in allowance on her old range. Sam’s agrees to deliver the range for an additional $25. Sam’s doesn’t charge Donna sales tax. Donna owes use tax on $550 ($800 minus the $250 trade-in; the $25 delivery fee isn’t taxable).

Taxable purchase price and discounts and rebates

The following table explains how discounts or rebates can affect the taxable purchase price.

Type of discount allowed

How the discount or allowance works

Does it reduce the taxable purchase price?

Manufacturer’s rebate

Reduction of the buyer’s cost that a third party offers. The rebate is only valid if there’s proof of purchase.

No, except motor vehicle rebates paid to the seller. See Motor Vehicles – Dealers

Retailer’s coupon

Electronic or paper coupon or other price reduction that the retailer gives but receives no reimbursement for.


Retailer’s trade discount

Discount given to good customers or customers in a certain industry (e.g., a lumber yard that gives contractors a 3% discount).


Prompt-payment discount

Discount that encourages the buyer to pay the bill on time (e.g., a 2% discount if the customer pays the bill within a certain number of days).


Laws and rules

Sales Tax

Use Tax

Learn more about use tax:

Learn more about Idaho tax statutes 

Learn more about our Rules