This Technical Information Release explains the sales tax exemption for meals served in a certified assisted living residence pursuant to G.L. c. 64H, § 6(cc), as amended by St. 1994, c. 354, § 4.
General Laws Chapter 64H, § 2, imposes an excise on retail sales of tangible personal property or telecommunications services in the Commonwealth by any vendor unless otherwise exempt. The tax generally extends to meals served by restaurants. See 830 CMR 64H.6.5. However, sales of meals served in various institutional settings are exempt to the extent provided by G.L. c. 64H, § 6(cc). General Laws Chapter 64H, § 6(cc), has recently been broadened to exempt in pertinent part sales of "meals served in an assisted living residence certified pursuant to the provisions of chapter nineteen D of the General Laws." Chapter 19D, which created the assisted living residence option, was added by St. 1994, c. 354, § 5.
A certified assisted living residence provides a congregate living environment that affords privacy and independence for elderly or disabled residents who do not need access to on-site nursing or medical care, but who do need assistance with the activities of daily living. For the purposes of this exemption, meals served in a certified assisted living residence are exempt from sales tax. The exemption extends to meals served to residents, guests, and staff. A certified assisted living residence need not register as a sales/meals tax vendor for the purposes of serving such meals.
Commissioner of Revenue
May 6, 1996