April 13, 1983
You are the chairman of the ******************** ("Committee") which sponsors dinners for employees of the ******************** ("Federal Agency"). The amount paid by the employees for the dinner is generally only a fraction of the cost of the meal; the balance is paid by the Committee. You inquire whether the meal is subject to the Massachusetts sales tax.
The sale of a meal is subject to the sales tax unless specifically exempted under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H. The sale of a meal which is partially subsidized by either an exempt or non-exempt organization is not exempt from the sales tax. The sale of a meal to an exempt organization is exempt only if made to, used by and completely paid for by the exempt organization, and if no amount is paid by its members or guests.
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that sales of meals to employees of the Federal Agency are taxable. The total sales price charged by the vendor of the meal is subject to the Massachusetts sales tax, even though part of the sales price is paid for by the Committee.
Very truly yours,
/s/Ira A. Jackson
Ira A. Jackson
Commissioner of Revenue
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