Payments to Affiliated Company for Equipment Considered Lease Payments in Virginia

Payments made by a taxpayer to an affiliated company for the use of equipment constituted lease payments subject to Virginia sales and use tax. The affiliate made monthly loan payments for the equipment and charged the taxpayer a monthly payment for the same amount. The taxpayer’s payments to the affiliate company for the use of equipment for consideration, without the transfer of the title of such equipment, constituted a taxable lease, not loan payments. The taxpayer’s argument that no profit was included in the monthly payments was found irrelevant and did not change the application of the tax. Additionally, the common ownership of the two companies does not render the payments tax exempt. This ruling emphasizes the importance of understanding the tax consequences of intercompany transactions. (Ruling of Commissioner, P.D. 12-159, Virginia Department of Taxation, October 12, 2012)

Posted on November 26, 2012