Technical Assistance Advisory No. 89-005 Re: Consumers Sales And Service Tax Exemption For Government Purchases The Tax Department recently received a request for clarification of whether charges incurred at hotels and motels in West Virginia by employees of State and federal government who are travelling on government business are exempt from the imposition of consumers sales and service tax when such charges are billed to the employee's personal credit card rather than directly to the State or federal government. The West Virginia Consumers Sales and Service Tax is imposed on sales of tangible personal property and on the dispensing of selected services in this State. See W.
Va. Code §
11-15-3. West Virginia Code §
11-15-8 excepts from the imposition of consumers sales and service tax professional services, personal services, and services provided by corporations subject to the control of the Public Service Commission. Exemptions to the consumers sales tax are contained in West Virginia Code §
11159. Pursuant to West Virginia Code §
11-15-9(c), "sales of property or services to the State, its institutions or subdivisions, and to the United States, including agencies of federal, State or local governments" are exempt from consumers sales and service tax.The corresponding regulations to the consumers sales and service tax dictate the following with regard to the exemption set forth under West Virginia Code §
11-15-9(c):It is necessary that the vendor acquire properly executed exemption certificates from all purchasers claiming exemption from tax under this provision. Frequently, governmental entities fail to present such a certificate. In such event, the books and records of the vendor must show that the purchase was billed to and paid by the government agency. Sales to individuals who are employees of this State, its institutions and subdivisions, or of the United States government, are not exempt from tax unless the sale is billed directly to the appropriate government agency or the purchase is by means of a properly completed government purchase order. See 110 C.S.R. 15, §
9.3 (1987).In those situations where a government employee travelling on business presents a personal credit card for purposes of paying charges incurred in hotels and motels, consumers sales and service tax must be collected. The fact that the governmental entity reimburses the employee for expenses incurred in conducting the business of the government is not material to the question. ______________________________ Charles O. Lorensen State Tax Commissioner Date: April 7, 1989