Buy Art Tax Free

Artistic Works Sales Tax Exemption

The sales tax is a levy imposed on the retail sale, rental or lease of many goods and services. Any sale is a retail sale if the property or service sold will be used and not resold in the regular course of business. Rhode Island has a sales tax exemption for certain artistic works, so anyone with the exemption does not have to charge sales tax on sales made within the state. You must apply for the sales tax exemption, and any entity making retail sales in Rhode Island is subject to sales tax.

For questions about the sales tax permit or end of year reconciliations, contact the Rhode Island Division of Taxation at; email the audit and investigation unit at; or call the office at (401)574-8962.

The exemption covers original and creative works, either one-of-a-kind or limited edition. These works must not be consumable or created for commercial or industry-oriented production. A work includes: a book and other writing; play; musical composition; painting, print, photograph, or drawing; sculpture; traditional and fine craft; the creation of a film; and/or the creation of a dance. Works can be fiction or nonfiction, and crafts can be functional or nonfunctional.

Limited edition means the creation of a self-published solitary work, conceived and produced by the artist under their direction, which is intended for limited reproduction. The reproduction must total no more than 300 copies and must be physically signed and numbered by the artist. This can include books, giclée prints and photographs.

All works must not be consumable, so things like candles, soap, and plants are not eligible for the exemption.

The exemption only covers sales made in Rhode Island. If you are selling online or in another state, you may need to pay sales tax in the state the sale is made.

First, you will need to apply for and receive a sales tax permit from the state of Rhode Island. Any entity, including individual artists and nonprofits, making retail sales in the state is required to obtain a permit. For more information on Rhode Island’s Sales & Use Tax, including how to apply for a permit, visit the Division of Taxation’s website:

Once you receive your sales tax permit, you will fill out the Application for Sales Tax Exemption for Artistic Works. You need to either mail this form or drop it off in person to: State of Rhode Island, Department of Revenue, Division of Taxation, Field Audit Section, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908-5800.