830 CMR 64H.00: SALES AND USE TAX
830 CMR 64H.00 is amended by adding the following section:
830 CMR 64H.6.6: Meals Furnished to Organizations of Elderly Persons or Organizations of Elderly or Handicapped Persons Residing in a Qualifying Housing Project
(1) General. M.G.L. c. 64H, s. 6(cc), provides an exemption from sales tax for certain organizations of elderly and handicapped when these groups purchase meals as part of occasional organizational functions or meetings. The sale of meals to organizations for the elderly and organizations of elderly or handicapped is exempt from tax if the following requirements are met:
(a) membership in the organization is limited by the bylaws to persons sixty years of age or older, or to elderly or handicapped persons living in a housing project as defined in 830 CMR 64H.6.6(2);
(b) the organization has received a Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons from the Commissioner; and
(c) the organization presents a copy of the Exemption Notice to the vendor as required in 830 CMR 64H.6.6(6)(a).
Commissioner, the Commissioner of Revenue or the Commissioner's duly authorized representative.
Housing Project, for purposes of this regulation, 830 CMR 64H.6.6, "housing project" means a separate housing project or a definite portion of a housing project provided by the housing authority of a Massachusetts city or town under M.G.L. c. 121B, §§ 25‑44 for "elderly persons of low income" and "handicapped persons of low income" as defined by M.G.L. c. 121B, § 1. A housing project includes but is not limited to the following types of housing: cooperative apartments, community residences or such other forms of congregate housing, or housing in separate dwelling units; units or apartments in remodeled or reconstructed existing buildings; condominium units purchased by the housing authority of a city or town; or units or apartments occupied under the rental assistance program pursuant to M.G.L. c. 121B, §§42‑44.
Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons, ("Exemption Notice"), a letter or card signed by the Commissioner entitling an organization meeting the requirements of this regulation, 830 CMR 64H.6.6, to an exemption from the sales tax on meals when the organization buys meals as a group.
Organization, a formally organized group, consisting of ten or more individuals, with bylaws regulating its function and the selection of officers empowered to act for it, which holds meetings on a regular basis at least once per year. The group must have a bona fide organizational purpose apart from claiming the exemption under M.G.L. c. 64H, §6(cc).
Vendor, as defined in M.G.L. c. 64H, §1(18).
(3) Transition Rules.
General. Any document ("exemption document") that entitles an organization of elderly persons or an organization of elderly or handicapped persons to an exemption from the meals tax under M.G.L. c. 64H, § 6(cc) issued before the effective date of this regulation, 830 CMR 64H.6.6, if not already revoked, is revoked as of December 31, 1991.
(a) Documents issued before December 31, 1989. Before 12/31/91, the Commissioner will notify each known organization holding an exemption document issued on or before 12/31/89, by letter sent to the last address provided by the organization, that its exemption expires on 12/31/91 and that it is required to apply to the Commissioner under the rules of this regulation, 830 CMR 64H.6.6, for the new "Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons."
(b) Documents issued after December 31, 1989. Organizations holding exemption documents issued after 12/31/89 but before the effective date of this regulation will not be required to apply to the Commissioner for a new Exemption Notice until five years from the date on which the existing exemption document was issued. Before 12/31/91, the Commissioner will send the organization a new Exemption Notice. The new Exemption Notice will expire five years from the date the earlier exemption document was issued.
Example 1: Middletown Golden Agers Club received a letter from the Commissioner dated 5/3/90 approving its application for exemption from the sales tax on meals. Without taking any action, this club should receive a new Exemption Notice from the Commissioner before 12/31/91. The new Exemption Notice will expire on 5/3/95, five years from the issue date of the earlier document.
(4) Procedure to Obtain a Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons.
(a) Application. In order to apply for an exemption, an organization must complete and file the form required by the Commissioner, together with a copy of its bylaws attested to by its president or treasurer. Applications must be mailed to the Determinations Bureau, Department of Revenue, 100 Cambridge St., Room 303, Boston, MA 02204. No fee is required for an Exemption Notice.
(b) Issuance of Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons. If an organization applying for an Exemption Notice meets the requirements of 830 CMR 64H.6.6(1), the Commissioner will issue it an Exemption Notice. The Exemption Notice is valid for a period of five years from the date of its issuance unless it is revoked by the Commissioner.
(c) New Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons. Before the expiration date of its Exemption Notice an organization may apply for a new Exemption Notice by filing with the Commissioner a new application and the most recent version of its bylaws.
(d) Expiration. If an organization's Exemption Notice expires before the organization has applied for a new Exemption Notice or while its application is pending, the organization must pay the sales tax on meals until it receives a new Exemption Notice.
(e) Organizational changes. If an organization with an effective Exemption Notice dissolves, disbands, changes its name or address, or ceases to meet the requirements of an organization entitled to a meals tax exemption, it must notify the Department of Revenue that it has done so by sending a copy of the Exemption Notice with a letter describing the situation to the Determinations Bureau, Department of Revenue, 100 Cambridge St., Room 303, Boston, MA 02204.
(5) Procedure for Denial or Revocation of Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons. If an organization does not meet the requirements for exemption, the Commissioner will revoke any existing Exemption Notice that the organization may have, and will deny any application for a new Exemption Notice that the organization may have submitted.
(a) Notice of denial or revocation. The Commissioner will send, by ordinary or certified mail, written notice to an organization of his decision to deny its application for an Exemption Notice. The Commissioner will send, by certified mail, written notice of his decision to revoke an existing Exemption Notice. Revocation is effective on the date written or typed on the notice.
(b) Effect of denial. If the Commissioner denies a new Exemption Notice to an organization holding a current Exemption Notice, in most cases the Commissioner will simultaneously revoke the existing Exemption Notice.
(c) Conference on denial or revocation. An organization aggrieved by the Commissioner's denial of a new Exemption Notice or by the Commissioner's revocation of its existing Exemption Notice may, in writing, request a conference with a representative of the Determinations Bureau. The request will not be granted if it is received by the Department more than sixty days after the date stated on the written notice of the Commissioner's decision to deny or revoke. At this conference the representative of the organization may raise any issue relevant to the denial or revocation.
(6) Use of Meals Tax Exemption Notice For Certain Organizations of Elderly Persons.
(a) Instructions to organization. Once an organization has received an Exemption Notice from the Commissioner, a group of its members may claim an exemption from sales tax on any meal served to the group. The group must use the following procedure to obtain the exemption:
1. present a photocopy of a valid Exemption Notice to the vendor for inspection;
2. tell the vendor whether anyone dining with the group is not a member;
3. provide the information requested on the copy of the organization's Exemption Notice (listed below in 830 CMR 64H.6.6(6)(b)5.); and
4. present identification to enable the vendor to verify the signature of the member providing the information.
(b) Instructions to vendor. A vendor must do the following to establish an exempt sale of meals to an organization with an Exemption Notice. If the vendor does not follow this procedure correctly, the vendor may be responsible for paying the sales tax on the meals sold. If the vendor follows this procedure correctly and accepts a facially valid Exemption Notice in good faith, the Commissioner will not hold the vendor responsible for paying any sales tax on the meals sold. The vendor must:
1. verify that the Exemption Notice presented is valid by checking the expiration date;
2. ask whether anyone dining with the group is not a member;
3. account separately for meals sold to members and nonmembers, both on the bill of sale and on the vendor's books and records;
4. charge sales tax on the meals served to nonmembers;
5. verify that all the information requested on the Exemption Notice has been provided:
the name of the vendor;
the date of the sale;
the number of organization members dining;
the total price of the meal served to the members;
the name, address, and telephone number of at least one attending organization member.
6. obtain the signature and attestation of an attending member of the organization concerning the information on the Exemption Notice;
7. request identification from the member signing the Exemption Notice and verify the signature and address.
8. retain the completed copy of the Exemption Notice.
Date of Promulgation: 5/24/91
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