Alabama Manufacturer Requests Reduced Machine Rate

An Alabama taxpayer that manufactures rockets requested a partial sales tax refund for tax paid on helium and nitrogen. The taxpayer claims that the helium and nitrogen used in their manufacturing should qualify as machines, and therefore they would be subject to the reduced machine rate of 1.5% sales tax rate instead of the usual 4% sales tax rate. The question the court faced is “whether helium and nitrogen gasses constituted machines that were used by the Taxpayer in the manufacturing of tangible personal property.” The court determined that the sales to the taxpayer of helium and nitrogen were used for “functional testing, leak testing, dew-point testing, and structural stabilization,” and therefore they are subject to Alabama’s 1.5% machine rate. (Alabama Tax Tribunal, DOCKET NO. S. 18-1033-JP, December 21, 2021)

Posted on January 11, 2022