Indiana Use Tax Due on Waste Hauling Trucks Because Public Transportation Exemption Requirements Not Met

An Indiana corporation engaged in waste hauling was found liable for use tax on the purchase and repair of trucks used to haul waste. The taxpayer argued that these trucks qualified for the public transportation exemption because it contracts with a broker who acts as the taxpayer’s agent in securing waste from customers for transport to landfills, and therefore does not own the waste and is transporting the property of another. Although it is undisputed that the language of the agreement between the taxpayer and the broker limits the agency relationship to the transportation of the material and not the material itself, the agreement does not contain language that suggests that the broker or the customers own the waste. The precedent set in other cases dictates that absent this specific language, the waste hauler is presumed to be the owner of the waste at the moment it is picked up. Since the taxpayer was found to own the waste, it is not transporting the personal property of another and therefore does not qualify for the exemption. (Letter of Findings No. 09-0591, Indiana Department of Revenue, April 29, 2010)

Posted on June 1, 2010