You inquire about the application of the Massachusetts sales tax to the sale of a "jogging bra".
Chapter 64H, Section 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws imposes a five percent sales tax on all retail sales of tangible personal property, unless otherwise exempted. Section 6(k) of Chapter 64H exempts from the sales tax.
Sales or articles of clothing, including footwear, intended to be worn or carried on or about the human body up to one hundred and seventy-five dollars of the sales price of any article of clothing. For the purposes of this section clothing or footwear shall not include special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use and which is not normally worn except when so used.
The Department of Revenue's List of Taxable and Non-Taxable Sales Tax Items, as revised in June 1980, lists athletic uniforms, bowling and golf shoes, and athletic supporters as taxable. Among the items listed as non-taxable are bathing suits, leotards and tights, baseball and golf caps, elastic support stockings, and jogging shoes.
The Department of Revenue's list of taxable items consists of articles that cannot easily be worn as part of everyday attire. Although a "jogging bra" is primarily designed for athletic use, it also lends itself to everyday wear. Therefore, sales of "jogging bras" are exempted from the sales tax imposed by Chapter 64H, Section 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The characterization of such sales as non-taxable does not depend on whether the sales are made by a sports-specialty store.
Very truly yours,
Commissioner of Revenue