March 6, 1980
You inquire whether the Massachusetts sales tax applies to the following transaction:
A Massachusetts customer of your company sends certain engineering data to your Mid West office on an input form. There, a computer uses the engineering data to generate a computation, in printout form, representing an analysis of the heating and cooling efficiency of a specific building or building design. For a fee your company sends the computation to the Massachusetts customer and sometimes assists the customer in interpreting the data.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 1(12)(f), defines "sales and "selling" for purposes of the sales and use taxes as including
"[t]he furnishing of information by printed, mimeographed or multigraped matter or by duplicating written or printed matter in any other manner, including the services of collecting, compiling or analyzing information of any kind or nature and furnishing reports thereof to other persons, but excluding the furnishing of information which is personal or individual in nature and which is not or may not be substantially incorporated in reports furnished to other persons…"
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that neither the fee for furnishing the computation in printout form nor its use in Massachusetts is subject to Massachusetts sales and use taxes.
Very truly yours,
Commissioner of Revenue