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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 81-74: Medicine and Medical Devices: Oxygen Concentrators

Date: 08/10/1981
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use Tax


August 10, 1981

You inquire whether the Massachusetts sales tax applies to leases of the ********** Oxygen Concentrator.

The Oxygen Concentrator is a device for supplying therapeutic oxygen to patients, in their homes and elsewhere. It draws in room air through filters, separates the oxygen and nitrogen in the air, and provides air containing 93 per cent oxygen at flow rates of 1-4 liters of oxygen per minute. The oxygen-enriched air is delivered to the patient through a bubbler-humidifier, tube or mask.

The Oxygen Concentrator operates on household electrical current. It weighs 110 pounds and measures 17 by 17 by 33 inches.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H, Section 2 imposes an excise on sales at retail of tangible personal property. "Sale" includes leases and rentals (c. 64H, s. 1(12)(a)).

Section 6(1) of Chapter 64H provides that the sales tax does not apply to:

"[s]ales 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; [and] sales of artificial limbs, artificial eyes, hearing aids, and other equipment worn as a correction or substitute for any functioning portion of the body…"

Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that leases of the Oxygen Concentrator are subject to tax.

Very truly yours,

/s/L. Joyce Hampers

L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue


LR 81-74

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