Certified Electrical Inspector Services Taxable in West Virginia

A taxpayer recently petitioned that the services provided as a certified electrical inspector should be considered “professional services” and, therefore, exempt from West Virginia consumers’ sales and service tax. The West Virginia code does not expressly include in the list of professional services the occupation of certified electrical inspector, nor does it expressly exclude the occupation from the list of nonprofessional services. Therefore, in determining whether or not an occupation qualifies as a profession, the State Tax Commissioner must consider such things as the level of education required for the activity. The West Virginia Office of Tax Appeals and its predecessor held that, at a minimum, a four-year college degree is required for occupations not explicitly designated as “professional.” Certification as an electrical inspector requires neither a four-year college degree nor a high school diploma, and thus can be classified as a building construction trade or occupation, not a profession. The lack of an education requirement rendered the taxpayer a liability to pay the sales and service tax for the services provided as a certified electrical inspector. (Decision No. 06-340 C, West Virginia Office of Tax Appeals, March 27, 2007)

Posted on April 16, 2007