Platform Used to Contain Debris and Pollutants Exempt in New York

A painting business’ purchase and installation of a platform used to contain debris and pollutants when painting and coating a bridge was not subject to New York sales tax because the platform was a temporary facility at a construction site that was a “necessary prerequisite to the construction of a capital improvement.” The Division of Taxation uses an “end result” test to distinguish capital improvements to real property from taxable real property maintenance services. The court determined that the activities met the statutory definition of a capital improvement, and were deemed as such under the “end result” test. Further, the containment of debris and pollutants from the work on the bridge was legally necessary for reasons of public health and safety. As such, it was a necessary prerequisite to the construction of a capital improvement. Therfore, the cost of the purchase and installation of the platform was exempt from New York sales tax. (L & L Painting Co., Inc., New York Division of Tax Appeals, Tax Appeals Tribunal, DTA Nos. 822266 and 822227, June 2, 2011)

Posted on May 21, 2012