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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 82-64: Mailing House Charges

Date: 06/16/1982
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use Tax

June 16, 1982


********** Inc. ("Company") is engaged in Massachusetts in sales of agricultural supplies and other goods. Periodically, it promotes special sales by having fliers distributed to customers who are on its mailing list. The Company supplies the fliers to ********** Inc. ("Mailing House"), which pre-prints envelopes for the fliers, folds the fliers, stuffs them in the envelopes, prints address labels and attaches the labels to the envelopes, and mails the fliers. A small number of the fliers are mailed to addressees located outside Massachusetts.

On the invoice it sends to the Company, the Mailing House does not break out any charges except for postage. You inquire whether the charges imposed by the Mailing House in connection with this transaction are subject to the sales tax.

The sales tax is an excise on sales at retail of tangible personal property in Massachusetts by any vendor. "Sale" is defined in Chapter 64H, Section 1(12) as including:

"(a) Any transfer of title or possession, or both, exchange, barter, lease, rental, conditional or otherwise, of tangible personal property for a consideration, in any manner or by any means whatsoever.


(e) A transfer for a consideration of the title or possession of tangible personal property which has been produced, fabricated or printed to the special order of the customer, or of any publication."

Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that:

1. The postage charge imposed by the Mailing House is not subject to tax, provided the charge is separately stated in the Mailing House's accounting records as well as on its invoice to the Company.

2. The Mailing House's single charge for pre-printing envelopes for the fliers, folding the fliers, stuffing them in the envelopes, printing address labels, and attaching the labels to the envelopes, is subject to tax.

Very truly yours,

/s/L. Joyce Hampers

L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue


LR 82-64

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