August 3, 1990

You request a ruling that sales of wigs by prescription to persons who have suffered hair loss as a result of chemotherapy are exempt from the Massachusetts sales tax. For the reasons stated below we rule that such sales are exempt from tax.

Facts

(the "Company") is engaged in the business of providing hair replacement products and services to women. As part of its business, the Company sells wigs to women who have suffered hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. The wigs may be purchased with or without a physician's prescription. The Company requests a ruling regarding wigs purchased with a physician's prescription.

Discussion

Section 6(l) of Chapter 64H, the Massachusetts sales tax statute, exempts from the tax certain transactions involving health care products, including the following transactions:

Sales of medicine, insulin needles and insulin syringes on prescriptions of registered physicians and sales of insulin; sales of oxygen, blood or blood plasma; sales of artificial devices individually designed, constructed or altered solely for the use of a particular crippled person so as to become a brace, support, supplement, correction or substitute for the bodily structure including the extremities of the individual; sales of artificial limbs, artificial eyes, hearing aids and other equipment worn as a correction or substitute for any functioning portion of the body; sales of artificial teeth by a dentist and the materials used by a dentist in dental treatment; sales of eyeglasses, when especially designed or prescribed by an ophthalmologist, oculist or optometrist for the personal use of the owner or purchaser; sales of crutches and wheel chairs for the use of invalids and crippled persons; and sales of baby oil; and the rental, sales and repairs of kidney dialysis machines, enteral and parenteral feedings, and feeding devices, suction machines, oxygen concentrators, oxygen regulators, oxygen humidifiers, oxygen masks, oxygen cannulas, ultrasonic nebulizers, life sustaining resuscitators, incubators, heart pacemakers, canes, all types of hospital beds for home use, tripod quad canes, breast prosthesis, alternating pressure pad units and patient lifts, when prescribed by a physician.

G.L. c. § 6(l)(emphasis added).

The Company's sales of wigs prescribed by a physician to persons who have suffered hair loss as a result of chemotherapy are included within the scope and intent of the exemptions provided by Section 6(l). Such sales are therefore exempt from the sales tax. To substantiate the exemption, the Company must maintain adequate records of its prescription sales and must retain copies of the prescriptions relating to those sales. See Massachusetts Record Retention Regulation 830 CMR 62.25.1.


Very truly yours,
Stephen W. Kidder
Commissioner of Revenue
August 3, 1990
LR 90-4