Massachusetts Removes Meals from Sales Tax Holiday

Erik Wallin
August 5, 2019

[August 1, 2019] As we approach this year’s Sales Tax Holiday in Massachusetts, a debate has ensued as to whether prepared meals could be purchased tax fee during the weekend of August 17 and 18. The statute establishing the annual Holiday in the “Grand Bargain” legislation of 2018, did not explicitly state that meals were not included and a proposed regulation issued by the DOR indicated that meals would be eligible. In years past, however, meals were squarely excluded and it appears that the office of the Governor was under the impression that nothing had changed. In response to the confusion, Governor Charlie Baker, in the recently signed 2020 Fiscal Year Budget, included an amendment requesting the immediate removal of meals from Holiday eligibility. However, over the course of the day on August 1, 2019, the Massachusetts DOR has issued revised Sales Tax Holiday FAQ where it is now expressly clear that meals are not included. Specifically, the guidance provides that for businesses that ordinarily charge sales tax on meals, nothing will change during the Sales Tax Holiday.

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Erik Wallin

Erik Wallin is a Senior Tax Counsel on the Tax Research Team at Sovos Compliance. Erik has been with Sovos Compliance since 2011, and his main areas of focus are on U.S. Transaction Tax Law which includes special expertise in the taxation of technology and the taxation mechanisms that apply throughout the Colorado home rule jurisdictions. Erik is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, has a B.A. from York College of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from New England School of Law, and an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University.
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