Waste Disposal Company Qualifies for Indiana Exemption as Public Transportation Provider

A waste disposal and recycling company’s purchase of natural gas qualified for Indiana’s public transportation exemption from sales tax since the taxpayer established that it was in the business of providing public transportation. Claiming that it is in the business of transporting goods which it does not own and is paid to do so, the taxpayer sought a refund of approximately $15,000 of sales tax paid at the time it purchased the natural gas. The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) had denied the refund claim because the taxpayer was “not paid to haul.” The taxpayer explained that the natural gas it purchases is used as fuel to power the operations of solid waste & recycling collection motor vehicles that are used on highways and provide for the public transportation of property. A taxpayer is generally only entitled to Indiana’s public transportation exemption if it demonstrates that the item being purchased is directly and predominantly used to transport property of others for consideration. In this case, the taxpayer provided invoice copies and records of bank transactions as evidence of compensation for providing public transportation services. As a result, the taxpayer’s services qualified for the exemption. (Memorandum of Decision 04-20170966R, Indiana Department of Revenue, March 8, 2018, released July 2018).

Posted on July 30, 2018