Sales Tax

General information on Harvard's tax obligations on goods and services.

General Information

Massachusetts sales tax is 6.25% of:

  • The sales or rental charge of tangible personal property, or

  • Certain telecommunications services sold or rented in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (e.g. telephone)

Harvard Tubs Purchasing Goods or Services

  • Harvard is exempt from paying Massachusetts state sales tax on the goods and services it purchases

  • Harvard also has sales tax exemptions in many (but not all) states

  • Refer to the Office of Procurement Management's online Procurement Manual for specific rules and printable sales tax exemption forms for Massachusetts and other states

Harvard Tubs Selling Goods or Services in Massachusetts

  • Tubs are required to collect Massachusetts sales tax equivalent to 6.25% of the sale price of certain goods and services they sell

  • Tubs then deposit the proceeds from the sale plus the sales tax into the University’s Mass Taxable Sales bank account and retains a validated copy of the bank deposit ticket. Deposit tickets can be obtained from the Cash Management Office by contacting 6-0853. 

  • Tubs then forward the validated bank deposit ticket along with completed Massachusetts Taxable Sales Deposit Forms to the Cash Receipts Office before Cash Receipts' month-end deadline for the month in which the sales were made

  • After each month-end close, Tax Services calculates the sales tax for that month and remits the tax for the entire University to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue


TPC sells a $2,000 computer to a student on October 9

TPC charges the student $2,100 ($2,000 plus $100 sales tax)

TPC deposits the $2,100 in its bank account and retains the deposit receipt from the bank

TPC then sends the bank deposit receipt along with a completed Massachusetts Taxable Sales Deposit Form to Cash Management in time for Cash Management to input the data before the October close

Harvard Tubs Selling Goods or Services Outside Massachusetts

  • Depending on the state and the type of goods or services sold, Harvard may be required to collect and pay sales tax on sales occurring outside Massachusetts

  • Contact Tax Services for additional information


  • Tubs must send the bank deposit receipt and deposit form to Cash Receipts in time for Cash Receipts to input the data before the closing for that month

  • All charges for tax, interest and penalties due to late receipts will be charged back to the Tub responsible for submitting the late receipts

  • Any interest and penalty charges incurred due to the late submission of a bank deposit receipt will be charged back to the Tub that submitted the late receipt