The buyer must present to the seller an accurate and properly executed exemption certificate for the exempted sale. The responsibility is on the seller to determine if the buyer is submitting the exemption certificate in "good faith." This requires the seller to be familiar with Vermont Sales and Use Tax law and regulations, including exemptions, that apply to the seller's business. When the seller accepts the certificate in good faith, the seller is not liable for collecting and remitting Vermont Sales Tax. An exemption certificate is received at the time of sale in good faith when all of the following conditions are met: The certificate contains no statement or entry which the seller knows, or has reason to know, is false or misleading. The certification is on an exemption form issued by the Vermont Department of Taxes or a form with substantially identical language. The certificate is signed, dated, and complete (all applicable sections and fields completed The property purchased is of a type ordinarily used for the stated purpose, or the exempt use is explained.
Electricity, Oil, Gas, and Other Fuels
Electricity and fuel used directly and exclusively for farm purposes are not taxable. In most cases no exemption certificate is required. Some suppliers may require that Form S-3F is completed if the use is not obvious or if only a portion of the fuel purchased is exempt. Form S-3F can be found on our website at
Farms include enterprises using land and improvements for agricultural production for sale. Agricultural production includes crops such as fruits, vegetables, turf and sod crops, livestock, bees and apiary products, Christmas trees, and maple syrup.
Use of One Certificate for Multiple Purchases
A buyer may use the same certificate for multiple purchases of the same agricultural supplies not typically used in agriculture or the same fertilizers and pesticides. The buyer's use must also be the same. A buyer may also use the same certificate for parts of the exempt machinery or equipment. However, additional implements for the machinery will require a new certificate. Every individual tax-exempt transaction must be linked to a specific exemption certificate. Therefore, for instances where a certificate is used for multiple purchases, the seller must indicate on the sales slip which exemption certificate is being used. A seller risks liability for sales tax for transactions that are not clearly linked to a specific exemption certificate The exemption certificate must be renewed every three years.
The seller must obtain an exemption certificate from the buyer either prior to or at the time of the sale. If the certificate is not available at the time of sale, the seller has 90 days after the sale to obtain a fully executed certificate, accepted in good faith.
Sellers must retain exemption certificates and instructions for at least three years from the date of the last sale covered by the certificate to document why tax was not collected from the buyer.
Form S-3A Instructions Page 4 of 4 Rev. 07/16