Delivered Groceries Now Tax-Free But Walmart Still Taxing

THINK NEW MEXICO News:

As you may recall, during the last legislative session, Think New Mexico successfully championed the enactment of a new law prohibiting the taxation of food that is delivered by grocery stores to New Mexicans.

That law took effect July 1, 2021.

The sale of food at grocery stores has been tax-free since Think New Mexico won passage of a law repealing the food tax back in 2004. This year’s law closed a loophole that allowed some stores to impose tax on food when it was delivered to a customer, rather than being purchased inside a store – a problematic practice during a pandemic.

Being able to have groceries delivered without paying taxes that can run at high as 9 percent continues to be important for elderly and disabled New Mexicans, who often face challenges getting to the store. 

So we were concerned when we received calls last week from two New Mexicans, one in Las Cruces and one in Rio Rancho, both of whom reported that they were taxed on orders of food they had delivered from their local Walmart stores.

We have sent letters to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and the state Attorney General’s Office and urged them to take action immediately to enforce the law and stop Walmart from charging this illegal tax. 

If you have had a similar experience, with Walmart or another grocery retailer taxing your purchase of food, please help us put an end to this illegal practice by emailing the Secretary of Taxation and Revenue and the New Mexico Attorney General and letting them know what happened.  

Please include all the details you can provide, including the store, the date you ordered your groceries delivered, and ideally even attach a copy of your receipt to show the items you purchased and the tax that was imposed. (One important note to keep in mind: the food tax exemption applies only to food purchased from a retail store for home consumption – so hot prepared food or food ordered from a restaurant are still subject to tax.) 

About Think New Mexico

Think New Mexico is a results-oriented think tank whose mission is to improve the lives of all New Mexicans, especially those who lack a strong voice in the political process. We fulfill this mission by educating the public, the media, and policymakers about some of the most serious challenges facing New Mexico and by developing and advocating for enduring, effective, evidence-based solutions. Visit thinknewmexico.org.

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