July 15, 1981
*********** ("Company") is a corporation with offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You inquire whether the Company's purchases of office furniture and equipment are subject to the Massachusetts sales or use taxes in the following circumstances.
The Company purchases the furniture and equipment from a Massachusetts vendor. It is shipped to the Company's Massachusetts warehouse and uncrated there. Within a week thereafter, the Company transports the furniture and equipment to its New Hampshire facilities for use in New Hampshire.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 2 imposes an excise on sales at retail of tangible personal property in Massachusetts. "Sale" includes "[a]ny transfer of title or possession, or both,...of tangible personal property for a consideration, in any manner or by any means whatsoever" (G.L. c. 64H, s. 1(12)(a)).
Section 6(b) of Chapter 64H provides that the sales tax does not apply to
"[s]ales of tangible personal property in transit or stored at points of entry intended for export or import or which the vendor is obligated under the terms of any agreement to deliver to a purchaser outside the commonwealth or to an interstate carrier for delivery to a purchaser outside the commonwealth."
Chapter 64I of the General Laws imposes an excise upon the storage, use or other consumption in Massachusetts of tangible personal property the sale of which was not taxed under Chapter 64H (G.L. c. 64I, ss. 2, 7(a)). "Storage" and "use" do not include
"the keeping, retaining, or exercising any right or power over tangible personal property for the purpose of subsequently transporting it outside the commonwealth for use thereafter solely outside the commonwealth." Chapter 64I, Section 1.
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that sales by a Massachusetts vendor to the Company of office furniture and equipment that is delivered to the Company in Massachusetts, are subject to the Massachusetts sales tax, whether the Company thereafter uses the furniture and equipment in Massachusetts or elsewhere.
Very truly yours,
/s/L. Joyce Hampers
L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue