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A reissue of a 2004 Letter Ruling clarifies that sales of food or beverages by a church are generally exempt from taxation, provided the sales are in the ordinary course of the church’s activities, such as a sale to church members by a church organization in connection with a church function. However, if the church sells food and beverages to the general public in competition with other organizations or businesses selling similar taxable items, the church is operating an unrelated business and must collect sales tax. Therefore, a church who sells food and beverages from their premises adjacent to a community’s fall festival, in competition with vendors selling similar food and beverages and collecting tax, is required to collect sales tax. (Legal Letter Ruling No. SUT-04-011, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, February 19, 2004 (reissued February 20, 2009)

(06/08/2009)

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue decided that a taxpayer must collect sales tax on its 2008-2009 fundraisers because these sales activities are frequent and recurring, not isolated. “Isolated sales” are defined as the “infrequent sales of a nonrecurring nature made by a person not engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property….no more than three times or more than a total of 7 days in any 1-calender year.” The taxpayer, a parent-teacher organization, although holding a valid “75” exemption, must collect and remit sales tax because they have scheduled more than three multi-day fundraisers in 2008 and 2009. (Legal Letter Ruling No. SUT-08/019, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, November 7, 2008)

(02/18/2009)

Customer fees paid to a lessor to display advertising materials in display cases and on phone boards are subject to Pennsylvania sales and use tax. The lessor’s charges are subject to tax because the charges are for a license to use tangible personal property. (Legal Letter Ruling No. SUT-03-062, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, November 7, 2003, reissued November 8, 2008)

(11/21/2008)

A homeowner’s purchase of fuel oil used to heat a detached garage that housed the homeowner’s vehicle was exempt from Pennsylvania sales and use tax. The garage was used solely for residential purposes, therefore qualifying it for the residential use exemption. (Legal Letter Ruling No. SUT-08-014, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, August 12, 2008)

(10/28/2008)

The generation of electricity through the use of wind turbines qualifies as manufacturing under the Pennsylvania tax law. In addition, machinery, equipment, parts, and foundations that are predominantly and directly used in the production or generation of electricity are exempt. (Legal Letter Ruling No. SUT-00-190, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, December 12, 2000, reissued October 7, 2008)

(10/28/2008)

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