SUT-54 - Prepared Food - Definition and Tax Rate

A food item is considered prepared food if it meets one of the following qualifications:

  • It is sold in a heated state or heated by the seller;
  • It contains two or more food ingredients mixed together by the seller for sale as a single item; or
  • The vendor who sells it also provides eating utensils, such as plates, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, cups, napkins, or straws.

Prepared food is not considered food or food ingredients for sales tax purposes. Therefore, sales of prepared food are subject to the standard 7% state sales tax rate, plus the applicable local sales tax rate. 

Reference: Important Notice 17-21. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 67-6-102 and 67-6-228.

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