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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 85-2: Meals Purchased by 501(c)(3) Organization

Date: 12/12/1984
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use

December 12, 1984


__________("Corporation") is exempt from taxation under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. You inquire whether the Massachusetts sales tax applies to the Corporation's purchase of meals which are used in the conduct of its business.

Sales of meals are taxed under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64H at a rate of five percent, unless otherwise exempted. Section 6(e) of Chapter 64H exempts from the sales tax,

Sales to any corporation, foundation, organization or institution, which is exempt from taxation under the provisions of section five hundred and one (c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and in effect for the applicable period; provided, however, that such sales shall not be exempt unless (1) the tangible personal property which is the subject of such sales is used in the conduct of such religious, charitable, educational or scientific enterprise, (2) such corporation, foundation, organization or institution shall have first obtained a certification from the commissioner stating that it is entitled to such exemption, and (3) the vendor keeps a record of the sales price of each such separate sale, the name of the purchaser, the date of each such separate sale, and the number of such certificate.

The sale of a meal to an exempt organization is exempt only if made to, used by, and completely paid for by the exempt organization, and if no amount is paid by its members, guests, or employees, whether or not reimbursed by their employer.

Therefore, sales of meals directly to the Corporation are exempt from the sales tax provided the Corporation uses the meals in the conduct of its exempt business; the Corporation has obtained a certification (Form ST-2) stating that it is entitled to the exemption; and the vendor keeps the records required under Chapter 64H, Section 6(e). If the Corporation had previously paid sales tax to its vendors on the purchase of meals and had at that time qualified for exempt status under Section 6(e), the Corporation may request a refund of the tax from the vendors, who should then apply to the Commissioner for an abatement of the tax. Alternatively, the Corporation may apply for an abatement directly to the Commissioner, using Form CA-6, by acting under power of attorney from the vendor. The Massachusetts Abatement Regulation, 830 CMR 62C.37 is enclosed.

Very truly yours,

/s/Ira A. Jackson

Ira A. Jackson

Commissioner of Revenue



LR 85-2

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