New York Determines that Parts and Equipment Used to Receive Satellite TV Programming is Taxable

A provider of satellite television programming was assessed tax on purchases of the following parts and equipment supplied to its’ customers: (i) a satellite dish, (ii) a low-noise block feedhorn (LNBF), (iii) a switch, (iv) a receiver (a.k.a. set-top box), and (v) a remote control. The provider contended that these purchases were for resale and were evidence by a separately stated equipment charge on the monthly billing. It was also noted that the items could be utilized only to receive the providers’ satellite television programming and upon termination of the service, the items had to be returned to the provider. For these two reasons it was decided that the items provided were merely incidental to the service. (Echostar Satellite Corp., New York Division of Tax Appeals, Administrative Law Judge Unit, DTA No. 821465 August 28, 2008)

Posted on October 8, 2008