MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE REGULATION FACT SHEET

TITLE: 830 CMR 64H.6.5 : Sales Tax on Meals

REGULATORY HISTORY:

2000 Amendment: 830 CMR 64H.6.5: Sales Tax on Meals, promulgated in 1989 and amended in 1990 and 1996 was amended in 2000. The 2000 amendment repealed old sections 9 and 10, and replaced them with new sections 9, 10, 11, and 12. Old sections 11, 12, 13, and 14 are renumbered as section 13, 14, 15, and 16, respectively. New 830 CMR 64H.6.5 is effective for all open tax years as of the date of promulgation.

2006 Amendment: Amends sections (5)(b)1, (5)(b)2, (5)(g), and (7)(a).

SUMMARY OF REGULATION: This regulation explains the application of the Massachusetts sales tax, G.L. c. 64H, to sales of meals. It provides general definitions, rules and examples to assist in determining the taxability of meals sold by stores, caterers, tax-exempt entities and other institutions and organizations.

SUMMARY & PURPOSE OF 2000 AMENDMENT:

  • While this amended regulation contains a number of rules identical or substantially similar to those in the predecessor regulation, it has been revised to provide more comprehensive guidance on the exemption for casual and isolated sales, including sales of meals provided by G.L. c. 64H, § 6(c), and the exemption for sales of meals, to persons qualifying for exemption under G.L. c. 64H, §§ 6(d) (i.e. governmental entities) and 6(e) (i.e. 501(c)(3) organizations) and agents purchasing meals on their behalf.
  • In particular, the amended regulation changes the rules governing sales of meals in fundraising contexts. The amended regulation provides that the Commissioner will presume that fundraising sales by nonprofit organizations or their agents are exempt as casual and isolated sales, regardless of the duration of the events, unless such sales are made in the regular course of the nonprofit organization's business.
  • The amended regulation also provides rules for making a determination as to when such events are deemed to be made in the organization's regular course of business.
  • In issuing this regulation, the Department hopes to ensure that tax-exempt entities, nonprofit organizations, and agents purchasing on their behalf are not improperly exposed to taxation in connection with meals they purchase and sell as part of their fundraising activities. This regulation provides a more workable set of rules that will assist taxpayers in determining their tax collection and remittance responsibilities.

SUMMARY & PURPOSE OF 2006 AMENDMENT:

  • This amendment updates the regulation to reflect a statutory change contained in St. 2000, c. 209, which raised the exempt amount for vending machine sales of food from $1.00 to $3.50 effective November 8, 2000. The amendment also updates the regulation to reflect a statutory change contained in St. 2005, c. 163, s. 32, effective April 1, 2006, which excludes from the definition of sales price in G.L. c. 64H, s. 1, a service charge or tip that is distributed by a vendor to service employees, wait staff employees or service bartenders as provided in section 152A of chapter 149.

PREPARED BY: Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Rulings and Regulations Bureau
100 Cambridge Street, 7th floor
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-3250
FAX: (617) 626-3290