June 8, 1982
********** Inc. ("Center") is an incorporated non-profit residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children ranging in age from nine to eighteen. The Center operates a school which all children resident at the Center must attend year round. The Center's school maintains a regular curriculum and a faculty of thirteen; it is a member of the Massachusetts Association for Approved Private Schools and is authorized to grant high school degrees.
As part of the Center's pre-vocational training program, it will operate a snack bar staffed largely by children from the Center. The snack bar will serve food and beverages only to members of the Center's community. You inquire whether sales of food and beverages at the snack bar will be subject to the sales tax on meals.
The sale of food and beverages at a snack bar is subject to tax unless a specific exemption from tax applies.
General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 6(cc) provides, in part, an exemption for sales of:
"[m]eals prepared by employees thereof and served in any hospital [or] sanatorium...or in any institution or private house licensed under section twenty-nine of chapter nineteen [relating to certain residential or day care facilities for the mentally ill or mentally retarded];...and meals furnished to students by an educational institution which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on..."
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that the Center is an educational institution within the meaning of Chapter 64H, Section 6(cc). Therefore, sales of food and beverages at the snack bar to children who are students at the Center's school are not subject to tax; sales of food and beverages at the snack bar to others are subject to tax.
Very truly yours,
/s/L. Joyce Hampers
L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue
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