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In a West Virginia Circuit Court, a petitioner, doing business selling and installing truck scales, was found liable for tax based on the definition of capital improvement and how it relates to this type of contract. "Capital Improvement" is defined as "improvements that are affixed to or attached to and become part of a building or structure or the real property, or any part thereof, and that last or are intended to be relatively permanent." The petitioner argued that, even though the scales were placed on real property (concrete slab), the scales could be removed and many of the parts of the scale were "free floating", making them tangible personal property. The court countered, stating that the removal of the scales would cause damage to the real property which is a critical part of the definition of "capital improvement". As for the "free floating" parts, the court felt it was impossible to determine every component of the scale to see what was free floating and what was not. (Brechbuhler Scales, Inc. v. Palmer, West Virginia Circuit Court of Kanawha County, No. 00-AA-172, December 5, 2003)


A sales tax holiday has been enacted starting August 6, 2004 and ending August 8, 2004. Purchases of clothing and footwear under $100, computers under $750, computer accessories under $100, and school supplies will all be exempt during this period. The tax holiday will not include purchases of athletic clothing or footwear, furniture, or accessories, including jewelry and handbags. Additionally, the holiday exemption will not apply to the rental of eligible tax holiday items. (West Virginia State Tax Department, Administrative Notice 2004-19, Decided April 30, 2004)


A two-month tax amnesty program has been enacted in West Virginia. However, the exact dates are still being determined. The amnesty program will allow taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities to take care of their obligations without penalties, additional tax, and only 50% of interest due for late filing or payment. An amnesty application, provided by the Commissioner, must be filled out and submitted during the amnesty period. Payment of outstanding tax must be paid in full by the last day of the month in which the amnesty period ends. If payment is not made in full, interest will continue to accrue. (S.B. 148, Laws 2004, effective June 11, 2004)


Website banner advertising was not exempt from tax under West Virginia Code Section 11-15-9(a)(12) which exempts outdoor advertising, the sale of radio and television time, and the preprinting of advertising circulars but does not include advertising on the Web. (West Virginia Office of Tax Appeals Decision, No. 02-308 C, August 26, 2003)


The method used for calculating the six percent sales and use tax has changed from the bracket system to a rounding system, effective January 1, 2004. Taxpayers may compute the tax due on a transaction on a per-item basis or on an invoice basis, provided the same method is used consistently during the reporting period. Taxpayers who have a sales tax liability of $100,000 or more per month are now required to remit the tax via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Additionally, effective January 1, 2004, all monthly, quarterly and annual filers are instructed to remit their sales and use tax returns by the 20th day (previously the 15th) of the month following the close of the reporting period. (Important Notice: West Virginia Sales and Use Tax Changes for the Year 2004, West Virginia State Tax Department, January 2004)



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