1. What is use tax?
Use tax is the tax you are required to pay when you use a taxable good or service in Connecticut on which you did not pay sales tax to a retailer. The use tax is complementary to the sales tax. Together, the sales and use taxes treat purchases of taxable goods and services that are used in Connecticut equally, whether the goods and services are purchased within or outside Connecticut.
2. When is the use tax due?
3. On what kinds of goods or services must I pay use tax?
You must pay use tax on taxable goods whether purchased, leased or rented, and taxable services. Examples of taxable goods include furniture, jewelry, automobiles, appliances, cameras, computers, and computer software.
Examples of taxable services include repair services to your television, motor vehicle, or computer; landscaping services for your home; and reupholstering services for your household furniture.
4. What are the sales and use tax rates?
The general sales tax rate, effective for sales occurring on and after July 1, 2011, is 6.35% for purchases of taxable goods or services; however, the tax on computer and data processing services remains at 1%.
Important: Please be aware that the General Assembly enacted legislation subjecting the sale of certain items of tangible personal property to tax at the rate of 7% tax rate as of July 1, 2011. For more information regarding those items subject to tax at the rate of 7%, please see Special Notice 2011(9), 2011 Legislative Changes Affecting Sales and Use Taxes.
5. Are there exemptions from the use tax?
6. What if a Connecticut retailer does not collect tax on a sale of goods or services that is subject to Connecticut tax?
7. How do I report use tax liability to DRS?
You are required to report your use tax liability on Form OP-186, Connecticut Individual Use Tax Return, Form CT-1040, Connecticut Resident Income Tax Return, or Form CT-1040NR/PY, Connecticut Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return, for purchases made during the preceding calendar year.
8. When must individuals pay use tax?
You must pay use tax no later than April 15 for purchases made during the preceding calendar year.
As explained in Question 7 above, your use tax liability may be reported either on Form OP-186, Form CT-1040 or CT-1040NR/PY. If you are not required to file a Connecticut income tax return, you must file and pay your use tax liability using Form OP-186 no later than April 15. You may file one Form OP-186 for the entire year or you may file several returns throughout the year.
9. Does a person engaged in a trade or business have to pay use tax on purchases made for use in the trade or business?
Yes. If the person makes purchases of taxable goods (such as office furniture, computers, and supplies) or services out-of-state for use in a trade or business in Connecticut, that person must register with DRS for business use tax purposes and report purchases on Form OS-114, Sales and Use Tax Return. See Informational Publication 2003(31), Q & A on the Connecticut Use Tax for Businesses and Professions.
10. What if I buy taxable goods or services from an out-of-state mail-order company, television shopping channel, or over the Internet and the vendor does not charge Connecticut tax?
11. Is an out-of-state merchant misleading me if he tells me I do not need to pay Connecticut tax on my purchase?
12. Can an out-of-state business, such as a mail-order company, collect Connecticut use tax on taxable goods mailed or delivered into Connecticut?
Yes. If the business has registered to collect Connecticut use tax, it must collect the tax from you. If the business has not collected Connecticut use tax, you must report and pay the tax yourself.
13. What if I buy taxable goods or services in another state and the vendor charges sales tax for the other state?
If the taxable goods or services were purchased for use in Connecticut and the sales tax due and paid to the other state is less than the Connecticut use tax, you must report and pay the difference between the Connecticut use tax and the sales tax paid to the other state. If the sales tax correctly paid to the other state is equal to or more than the Connecticut tax, you owe no use tax to Connecticut.
14. Do I owe Connecticut use tax on all my out-of-state purchases of goods that are taxable in Connecticut?
15. What are the use tax filing requirements for motor vehicles, snowmobiles, vessels, and aircraft?
Generally, if the item is not purchased from a retailer, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles collects the use tax when you register a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or vessel. You must report the use tax liability on aircraft on your Connecticut income tax return or on Form OP-186.
If you do not intend to register your motor vehicle, snowmobile, or vessel immediately after you purchase it, you must report the use tax liability for purchases made during the prior calendar year on your Connecticut income tax return or Form OP-186. If the purchase is made in connection with a trade or business carried on by an individual, see Question 9.
16. How does an individual calculate their use tax liability?
17. Are there penalties and interest for not paying the use tax?
Yes. The penalty is 10% of the tax due. Interest is charged at the rate of 1% per month from the due date of the tax return. There are also criminal sanctions for willful failure to file a tax return.
For More Information: Call DRS during business hours, Monday through Friday:
1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only); or
860-297-5962 (from anywhere).
Paperless Filing/Payment Methods (fast, easy, free, and confidential):
Business and individual taxpayers can use the Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) at www.ct.gov/TSC to file a variety of tax returns, update account information, and make payments online.
File Electronically: You can choose first-time filer information and filing assistance or log directly into the TSC to file returns and pay taxes.
DRS E-Alerts Service: Get connected to the latest news from DRS. Receive notification by email of changes to legislation, policies, and procedures. DRS E-Alerts provide information for employer’s withholding tax, News – Press Releases, and Top 100 Delinquency List. Visit the DRS website at www.ct.gov/DRS and select e-alerts from the left navigation bar.
Sales and Use Tax
Individual Use Tax