Archives: Sales Tax

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Governor Baker Releases Proposed FY 2018 Budget Including Extending Sales Tax Collection to Online Retailers and Expanding Room Occupancy Tax to Short-Term Rentals

On January 25, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker released his proposals for the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2018 budget. Among the proposed tax/revenue changes in the proposal are the following: Extending sales tax collection responsibilities to online retailers who do not have a physical location in Massachusetts but who have sales in Massachusetts that exceed $500,000 annually. … Continue Reading

Supreme Judicial Court Rules Against Taxpayer in Regency Transportation

On January 6, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued its decision in Regency Transportation v. Commonwealth, finding against the taxpayer.  The taxpayer in Regency was a trucking company that purchased vehicles in states that did not charge sales tax on the purchases.  Regency used the vehicles more than half the time outside of Massachusetts … Continue Reading

Supreme Judicial Court hears Oral Argument in Regency

Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) heard oral argument in Regency Transportation v. Commonwealth, a case in which the taxpayer is challenging the Department of Revenue’s assessment of use tax on the full purchase price of vehicles that it purchased outside of Massachusetts and used more than half the time outside of Massachusetts as … Continue Reading

Update: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Agrees To Hear Regency Transportation Appeal

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has agreed to accept jurisdiction and hear the taxpayer’s appeal in Regency Transportation, Inc. v. Commissioner, a case in which the Appellate Tax Board, (“ATB”) upheld the Department of Revenue’s assessment of use tax on trucks which, although stored and serviced in Massachusetts, were purchased outside of Massachusetts and used for transportation … Continue Reading

Washington Department of Revenue takes same position on taxability of early termination fees being challenged in Massachusetts

In a ruling that will be of interest to taxpayers following Massachusetts appeals on the issue, Washington has issued recent guidance (see Washington DOR – Termination Fees) asserting that early termination fees for cancelling cellular phone contracts are subject to retail sales tax as taxable telecommunications services. This guidance takes the same position that the Massachusetts Department … Continue Reading

Trucking Company Appeals ATB Decision Upholding Use Tax Assessment on Trucks Used in Interstate Commerce

In a case to watch for interstate trucking companies, Regency Transportation, Inc. is appealing a use tax assessment upheld by the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”). Regency had challenged the Department of Revenue’s assessment of use tax on trucks which, although stored and serviced in Massachusetts, were purchased outside of Massachusetts and used for transportation … Continue Reading

Are eFax services taxable telecommunications services in Massachusetts?

While Massachusetts’ expansion of its sales tax to include computer-related services was repealed within three months of its enactment, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue continues to take a close look at sales treated as non-taxable services by vendors, and characterize those sales as either sales of tangible personal property or telecommunications services, both of which … Continue Reading

Interstate Truckers Beware—Massachusetts Aggressive Use Tax Policy on Vehicles Purchased Out-of-State Upheld by ATB in Regency Transportation Case

Early this month, the Appellate Tax Board issued a decision involving the application of Massachusetts use tax to trucks that could have implications for all transportation companies doing business in the Commonwealth. In Regency Transportation, Inc. v. Commissioner, the Board held that Regency Transportation, an interstate freight transportation company, was subject to Massachusetts use tax … Continue Reading

ATB rules that orthopedic braces sold by orthopedic surgeon are exempt from sales and use tax.

Earlier today, the Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”) released its Findings of Fact and Report in Excel Orthopedic Specialists, Inc. v. Commissioner, holding that orthopedic braces—rigid and semi-rigid knee, elbow, ankle, wrist, and back braces—were exempt from sales and use tax when sold by a medical practice of orthopedic surgeons.  The ATB concluded that the braces … Continue Reading

Tax Amnesty Program Becomes Law; Will Be Offered During Fall of 2014

As part of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, the Commonwealth has established a tax amnesty program.  The amnesty period will last from September 2 through October 31, 2014.  If a taxpayer pays delinquent taxes during the amnesty period, the Department of Revenue will waive any associated penalties.  The program will cover unpaid sales and use, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts House Budget Would Include Tax Amnesty Program For 2015 Fiscal Year

Monday, the Massachusetts House adopted several tax related amendments to their version of the fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014- June 30, 2015) budget.  If the House’s budget is adopted, one recently-adopted amendment, would create a two-month tax amnesty program for delinquent sales and use tax, pass-through entity withholding, meals tax, and other taxes.  The … Continue Reading

Are early termination fees charges for “telecommunications services” in Massachusetts?

The ATB recently received a petition challenging the imposition of sales tax on the early termination fee charged by a mobile telecommunications  The Department asserted at audit that the early termination fees were charges for telecommunications services and, thus, subject to Massachusetts sales tax.  The taxpayer is now challenging that assessment. Read more about the … Continue Reading
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