When you shop in Alabama, the price you pay for retail purchases usually includes Alabama sales taxes. This tax is calculated at the rate of 4% of the cost of the item(s) you purchased.

You are responsible for paying the Alabama sales tax ("consumer use tax") when you make retail purchases from businesses located outside of Alabama (mail order, Internet, telephone, while on vacation, etc.), if you were not charged Alabama sales when you made your purchase(s) and if the items you purchased were delivered to or brought back with you to Alabama.

If the answer is "Yes" to any of the following questions, you may be liable for Consumer Use Tax.
  • Do you make retail purchases when you are on vacation outside of Alabama?
  • Do you buy any items from businesses on the Internet?
  • Do you purchase any retail items over the telephone?
  • Do you purchase any retail items from catalogs or mail order?

Examples of retail purchases subject to Alabama sales (or consumer use) tax:
  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Computers
  • Computer Software
  • Furniture
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Sporting Goods
  • Jewelry
  • Electronic Equipment
  • CDs, DVDs, Audio & Video Cassettes
  • Photographic Equipment
  • Musical Equipment
  • Automotive Accessories and Parts
  • All other retail purchases subject to Alabama sales taxes

Is there a credit for Sales Tax paid to the other States?

If you were charged a sales tax (other than Alabama sales tax) by the out-of-state business for the item(s) you purchased, you are allowed a credit against your Alabama consumer use tax due for the amount of the sales tax you paid with your purchase, not to exceed 4% of the purchase price.

Note: Do not compute use tax on the following items:
  • automobiles
  • trailers, truck trailers, semi-trailers, travel trailers
  • mobile homes
  • motor boats which must be titled in Alabama