Sales of sealed beverages

Soft drinks are subject to retail sales tax.

“Soft drinks” are nonalcoholic beverages sold in any manner, including in sealed containers, that contain natural or artificial sweeteners. However, beverages that contain any milk, milk products, or milk substitutes or that contain more than 50% vegetable or fruit juice by volume are not defined as “soft drinks” even if they contain sweeteners. Beverages in sealed containers that contain fruit or vegetable juice are required to disclose the percentage of juice by volume on the front of the label or near the “Nutrition Facts” box.

“Soft drinks” do not include frozen, powdered, or concentrated beverages.

Soft drinks and any other beverages served with an eating utensil provided by the seller, including hot coffee or juice from a fountain, are prepared food and subject to sales tax.

Carbonation is no longer a factor in determining taxability.

For more information please refer to our Special Notice on Determining Whether Sales Tax Applies to Sealed Beverages (pdf).