Pennsylvania taxes cellular service providers.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that cellular telecommunications providers did not qualify for the sales/use tax exemption provided for manufacturers or public utility providers because the cellular providers did not produce “tangible personal property.” The providers converted sound waves into signals, but this change was not considered enough to qualify for the exemption because the basic informational content remained the same. A dissenting opinion found that the cellular telecommunications providers were qualified for the exemption in reference to the General assembly’s definition of “tangible personal property” which includes “cellular telecommunications service.” (Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems, Inc v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Nos 103 MAP 2002 and 105 MAP 2002, March 23, 2004)

Posted on May 15, 2004