Reception Services Provided by Security Company Exempt in New York

A company’s provision of reception services wasexempt from New York sales tax. The company was primarily involved in providing security services to clients, including security guards, but also provided reception services, such as greeting, screening, and processing people requesting access to a site, checking identification, preparing and issuing visitor passes, and refusing entry as needed. The security guard services were clearly subject to tax, but the issue was whether the reception services constituted protective or detective services under the applicable statute. The tax law doesn’t provide a definition of protective or detective services. The Tax Appeals Tribunal held that the language of the applicable tax law was not intended to reach the type of hybrid reception services at issue. The Tax Appeals Tribunal held that the reception services are exempt. Separately, charges for security services sold to companies claiming to be agents of exempt organizations were found to be taxable since the taxpayer had the burden to prove that the security services weresold to exemptentities. The company’s receipt of an improper exemption certificatefrom its customer – which wasnot properly completed noron the proper form – denied it of the benefit of the presumption of its entitlement to the exemption.(Alliedbarton Security Services LLC, New York Division of Tax Appeals, Tax Appeals Tribunal, DTA Nos. 825169, 825690, 825691, 825692, and 825693, February 16, 2016)

Posted on May 4, 2016