Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Sales Tax Refund for Computerized Services

The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) uses the true object test to distinguish between nontaxable custom software or taxable services. The Ohio Supreme Court directed the BTA to do so for a taxpayer, a bank, that made a purchase of computer software services that allowed the bank to run daily transactions and maintain their accounting and financial records. The BTA determined that because the software was not fully customized for the taxpayer, they had the burden of proving that the software was exempt custom software. However, the Supreme Court rejected the BTA’s interpretation on the basis that, “a transaction is taxable only when the true object is to obtain the work performed by the computer system, but not where the true object is obtaining personal and professional services that are coupled with work that the computer system performs.” (Supreme Court of Ohio, Cincinnati Fed. S. & L. Co. v. McClain, Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-725, March 15, 2022)

Posted on April 11, 2022