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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 81-69: Medicine and Medical Devices: Devices for Handicapped Children

Date: 08/04/1981
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use Tax


August 4, 1981

********** ("Company") manufactures adaptive equipment designed to support handicapped children in a sitting or prone position. You inquire whether sales of such items are subject to the Massachusetts sales tax.

Illustrative of the adaptive equipment is a "prone stander," appropriate for children with cerebral palsy, mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, that supports the pelvis, hips, legs and feet of a child in extension, and allows the child to participate at a common table with children in school and play activities. The adaptive equipment also includes "prone positioners," stroller inserts, "bolster chairs," and other items specially designed for use by handicapped children.

The Company also manufactures adjustable stools that are as appropriate for use by healthy children and adults as by handicapped persons.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 6(1) exempts from the sales tax 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; [and] sales of crutches and wheel chairs for the use of invalids and crippled persons…"

Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that

(1) sales of the adaptive equipment specially designed to support handicapped children are exempt from tax; and

(2) sales of the adjustable stools are subject to tax.


Very truly yours,

/s/L. Joyce Hampers

L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue



LR 81-69

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