Use Tax Basics Guide

Use tax is a tax on goods you use or store in Idaho that haven’t been properly taxed. You owe Idaho use tax if you didn’t pay sales tax on goods that aren’t exempt. The use tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate.

You probably owe use tax if you’re an individual or if you operate a business that:

  • Shops online or buys items from sellers that don’t collect Idaho sales tax
  • Buys from out-of-state sellers that don’t collect sales tax
  • Takes items out of sales inventory to give away or use 
  • Uses untaxed goods in a taxable activity
  • Gets a refund of Idaho tax paid on fuels
  • Uses goods when performing a nontaxable service
  • Is a multi-level marketing business or buys from multi-level sellers
  • Provides free samples or giveaways
  • Repairs goods covered under an optional warranty or maintenance agreement
  • Brings equipment, supplies or vehicles into Idaho for permanent use
  • Brings business assets into Idaho for temporary use
  • Does contracting work on real property in Idaho

Calculating use tax due

You owe use tax based on the taxable price of an item. The Idaho use tax rate is the same as the Idaho sales tax rate.

The amount of use tax you owe is based on a recent sales price of the item, or when the item first becomes taxable. Without proof of a recent purchase price, you owe tax on the item based on its fair market value.

Also see the Sales and Use Taxes Basics Guide for what the taxable purchase price includes, what it doesn’t, and how discounts and rebates affect the taxable purchase price. 



Individuals can use the worksheet format in pdf Form 850-U – Self-Assessed Use Tax Return and Instructions, to track their untaxed purchases.

Businesses and organizations

Many businesses keep a use-tax accrual account to post tax due when they post purchases on which tax is due. Some businesses keep a use tax worksheet that lists purchases and inventory withdrawals on which use tax is due.

Whatever method your business uses, you must keep the records at least four years if you have a use tax permit. Businesses that don’t have a permit must keep records for at least seven years.

Laws and rules

Learn more about use tax:

Learn more about Idaho tax statutes 

Learn more about our Rules