2013-12-05 / News

No more taxes on wine, original art

Just in time for the holiday season, shoppers will save at the register when buying wine, spirits and original works of art. The change in the state sales tax took effect on Dec. 1.

“These new provisions come just in time for the busy shopping season,” said state Tax Administrator David Sullivan. “They should help to spur sales and boost Rhode Island’s economy.”

For 16 months until March 31, 2015, all wine and spirits sold at liquor stores will be exempt from Rhode Island sales tax. (There is still a 7-percent sales tax on beer.)

Also, the new law deemed the entire state as an arts district. As a result, original and creative works by writers, composers and artists that are sold in Rhode Island, whether at galleries or elsewhere, will be exempt from sales and use taxes.

Under the old law, the exemption applied only to designated areas in a limited number of cities, such as Providence, Pawtucket, Newport, Warwick, Woonsocket and Westerly. Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to allow for a statewide sales tax exemption on original works of art.

A work of art may include a book, play, musical composition, painting, print, photograph, sculpture, film, dance, and traditional arts and crafts. Fine art photography will qualify, but commercial photography, such as wedding photos, will not.

Artists are not automatically qualified for the sales-tax exemption. First they must register for a sales-tax permit with the state Division of Taxation and pay a $10 fee. Then they must fill out an application for tax exemption.

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