Purchases Considered Taxable Business Fixtures in Ohio

A taxpayer’s purchase of items including a burglar/fire alarm, outdoor illuminated sign, electrical wiring and switches, security/surveillance system, store remodeling, and air compressor were subject to Ohio use tax since the items were considered to be business fixtures. The taxpayer argued that the items were tax exempt since they were incorporated into real property. According to the “business fixture” statute, signs and equipment that are permanently attached to the land and that benefit the specific business conducted thereon are taxableas personal property not real property. The taxpayer did not provide any documentation or supporting testimony to substantiate that the items were not business fixtures. The commissioner acknowledged that some of the items assessed as “store remodeling” could potentially be categorized as realty. However, the taxpayer did not provide sufficient detail to allow the commissioner to separate the taxable from the non-taxable items. Since the taxpayer failed to meet its burden of demonstrating the error in the tax assessment on the items purchased, they were considered to be taxable business fixtures. (Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack of Delaware, Inc. v. Testa, Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2015-706, April 4, 2016)

Posted on May 9, 2016