Utah Finds Exempt Organization Could Not Recover Taxes Reimbursed to Employees

A Utah university sought clarification on the exempt purchase of goods by employees at point of sale. When employees made these purchases, they were charged sales tax. The university would reimburse employees for the sales tax paid. The university requested a refund of these reimbursed amounts as they were a 501(c)3 organization and were exempt from sales tax. The state found that the university was not eligible for a refund as the sales were not “made to” a charitable institution, as the applicable statute states. The sales were made to the employees of the university, who made the payments for the sales, even though they were for university use. (Private Letter Ruling, Opinion No. 08-014, Utah State Tax Commission, April 7, 2009)

Posted on September 2, 2009