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Does Trader Joe’s Charge Sales Tax? (Answered)

does trader joes charge sales tax

One very popular grocery store chain in America is Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s has a variety of products, but they specialize in their foods and beverages. Known for their low prices, Trader Joe’s is great for those shopping on a budget. Does Trader Joe’s charge sales tax?

It depends on the product you’re buying and the state you’re in. In most cases, Trader Joe’s won’t charge you tax for the food you’re buying. In other states, like PA, they won’t charge you for any necessities at all. There are some states that tax all grocery items, and others that don’t have sales tax at all.

The rest of this article will cover sales tax overview, Trader Joe’s sales tax policy, exceptions to Trader Joe’s sales tax policy, and other fees at Trader Joe’s.

Sales Tax Overview

Sales tax is a type of tax in the United States. It refers to the tax on goods or services that are sold. For example, if you’re buying a blanket from a store, you’ll see a section on the receipt that says “tax” or “sales tax”. 

How much is taxed depends on the state you live in. Sales tax laws vary from state to state. Some states don’t have sales tax at all, but make up for it with higher income tax. The opposite occurs as well where sales tax might be higher, but income tax will be lower.

There are laws on sales tax in all fifty states regardless if sales tax is allowed or not. Even if you live in a state without sales tax, the government must have made a statement about how sales tax works in the state.

Before traveling to another state, you should know the sales tax laws so you can better plan your shopping trips.

If you’re from a state without sales tax traveling to a state with it, remember to pack more cash than usual because your normal shopping prices will go up.

Trader Joe’s Sales Tax Policy

There is no specific Trader Joe’s sales tax policy because Trader Joe’s doesn’t control sales tax. However, how much or little is taxed depends on the location of the store.

If the store is in a state without sales tax, expect to see no sales tax on all items.

Most grocery stores are exempt from sales tax on food. However, there are still items at grocery stores that get taxed if the store is in the right location.

For example, hot and prepared food products are a type of food product that can be taxed.

Exceptions to Trader Joe’s Sales Tax Policy

If you look at your receipt after purchasing items at Trader Joe’s, the tax will be marked at the bottom. Even better, the specific items that were taxed will be marked with a “T” next to their names. Look out for a “T” on the left side of the receipt.

In general, food items are not going to be taxed. There are some states where all food is taxed, but most grocery stores get an exemption from that. The reason why is because food from grocery stores is a necessity.

The food you’re getting goes to your daily life, and it’s not from a service like a fast food restaurant or a restaurant or anywhere else that prepares and serves you food.

That’s why hot and prepared food products at grocery stores often are taxed despite being food in a grocery store.

If you are ever unsure about the sales tax you are paying at your grocery store, feel free to ask an employee about it or look into the sales tax laws in your state.

Other Fees at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s doesn’t have much in the way of extra fees. They pride themselves on low prices, but that also means you won’t find any loyalty programs, coupons, or sales.

The only price you’ll see is the base price of the product you’re buying. There aren’t any hidden fees in there unless you’re buying a taxable item.

In that case, you will be charged a bit extra because of the tax. Sales tax is the main fee you’re paying when you go to any grocery store, and Trader Joe’s in particular.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sales tax is a complicated issue because it varies so much. Thanks to that, there are many frequent questions customers ask.

Do All Grocery Stores Charge Sales Tax?

In general, most grocery stores are exempt from the normal sales tax laws.

That means most grocery stores can sell food without the added tax, but non-food or specific store foods can be taxed. However, there are places where there isn’t any sales tax at all.

If you want to see if your local Trader Joe’s charges sales tax, look up the sales tax law in your state. If you don’t want to do that, ask an employee what they do and don’t have sales tax on the next time you go to Trader Joe’s.

You can also check your receipt. Trader Joe’s lists the items that receive tax by labeling them with a “T”. The total cost of the tax will also be summed up at the bottom of the receipt.

What Fees Can I Expect at Trader Joe’s?

Other than possible sales tax, there are no hidden or additional fees at Trader Joe’s. How much sales tax you pay depends on the region you’re in. Your Trader Joe’s location may not have any fees at all.

Final Thoughts

Sales tax refers to the tax you pay on goods and services that are sold to you. Some products, like food, don’t have sales tax. Some states don’t have sales tax at all.

How much or little sales tax is depends on the state you’re living in.When you go to Trader Joe’s, the sales tax will vary based on what location you’re at.

Some Trader Joe’s won’t have any sales tax while others will have a lot. Most grocery stores don’t have sales tax on food, but again, that depends on what state you’re in.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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