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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 80-47: Medicine and Medical Devices: Non-Prescription Prosthetic Supplies

Date: 07/08/1980
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use Tax


July 8, 1980

You inquire whether the sales of powder and shampoo, both of which are used in conjunction with a breast prosthesis, are subject to taxation. Neither of these items is sold on prescription; however, the manufacturer's warranty on the prosthesis is dependent upon exclusive use of this particular shampoo. Application of the powder is intended to reduce any discomfort which may result from wearing a prosthesis.

Retail sales of tangible personal property are subject to the sales tax unless specifically exempted. General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 6(l) exempts, in relevant part, the sale of prescription medicines and of artificial devices individually designed as a substitute for a bodily structure. Neither the shampoo nor the powder qualifies under this exemption.

Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that both the sale of the prosthesis shampoo and the sale of prosthesis powder are subject to the sales tax.

Very truly yours,

/s/L. Joyce Hampers

L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue



LR 80-47

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