We’re all familiar with sales tax. Most of us know that when we go to a store to make a purchase, the price at checkout is higher than the sticker price, since sales tax is added after the fact. It’s a necessary evil, since we love the benefits provided by sales tax. Without sales tax, we wouldn’t have police and fire services, public schools, roads and other infrastructure, parks, and more. (For a more complete discussion, see What Is Sales Tax Revenue Spent On?)

But did you know that some states don’t impose a sales tax at all? Few of us are lucky enough to reside in these states – after all, there are only five of them! But for those that live in them, or visit them and make purchases, they’ll enjoy making a purchase and finding there is not tax added to the sale.

The following states do not have any state sales tax:

  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Montana
  • Alaska
  • Delaware

Of these, only Alaska has any sales tax at all. In Alaska, some jurisdictions do charge tax, but the state does not. In all others, you’ll pay nothing extra when you see your final receipt.

Of course, it’s not easy to remember these states! So if you need help, keep the mnemonic NOMAD states in mind. This word will help you recall which states have no sales tax – N for New Hampshire, O for Oregon, M for Montana, A for Alaska, and D for Delaware.

Color-coded Map Showing NOMAD States - States with No Statewide Sales Tax

For all other states in the union, you’ll find yourself paying sales tax for most items you purchase. Some goods are tax-exempt in many states, and some states don’t charge tax on many services. The amount you pay in tax depends on the state where you’re making a purchase, as well as the county, city, and sometimes other special jurisdictions.

To learn more about sales tax definitions and how it all works, check out our sales tax guide.

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