Mower not Exempt from Sales Tax through Transfer of Farm Products
July 02, 2019
This is a letter ruling issued by the Director of Revenue under Section 536.021.10, RSMo, and Missouri Code of State Regulations 12 CSR 10-1.020, in response to your letter dated May 1, 2019.
The facts as presented in your letter ruling request and a review of your website are summarized as follows:
Applicant is a Missouri corporation that sells farm equipment and machinery. Applicant’s customer (Customer) is purchasing a zero turn lawn mower and as part of the transaction, Customer will transfer farm products to Applicant and complete DOR Form 4606, Bill of Transfer (Farm Products Only).
Is Customer’s purchase of a zero turn lawn mower exempt from sales tax when customer pays for the lawn mower through the transfer of farm products to Applicant?
No. Customer’s purchase of a zero turn lawn mower is not exempt from sales tax when customer pays for the lawn mower through the transfer of farm products to Applicant.
Section 144.020.1(1), RSMo, imposes “[u]pon every retail sale in this state of tangible personal property. . . .a tax equivalent to four percent of the purchase price paid or charged[.]”
Section 144.025.5, RSMo, provides:
Any purchaser of a motor vehicle or trailer used for agricultural use by the purchaser shall be allowed to use as an allowance to offset the sales and use tax liability towards the purchase of the motor vehicle or trailer any grain or livestock produced or raised by the purchaser. The director of revenue may prescribe forms for compliance with this subsection.
Section 301.010.1(35) RSMo, defines a motor vehicle as “any self-propelled vehicle not operated exclusively upon tracks, except farm tractors…” [Emphasis added].
Section 301.010.1(71) RSMo, defines a vehicle as “any mechanical device on wheels, designed primarily for use, or used, on highways…” [Emphasis added].
Customer is purchasing a zero turn lawn mower from Applicant in exchange for farm products. In order to qualify for the tax offset in Section 144.025, Customer must purchase a motor vehicle. A zero turn lawn mower is not designed primarily for use on highways which means it does not qualify as a motor vehicle. Therefore, Customer cannot use the Section 144.025 offset on his purchase of the lawn mower. Applicant must charge sales tax on the full price of the lawn mower.
This letter ruling is binding upon the Department of Revenue with respect to the Applicant for three (3) years from the date of this letter and is subject only to statutory changes by the General Assembly and to changes in the interpretation of law by the courts or administrative tribunals. If a change occurs, the taxpayer who relies upon an outdated interpretation may be subject to additional taxes, interest and penalties, which may be imposed prospectively from the date of the change. For this reason, the interpretation set forth above should be reviewed on a regular basis. Please note that any change in or deviation from the facts as presented will render this ruling inapplicable.
Should additional information be needed, please contact Senior Counsel Thomas A. Houdek, General Counsel’s Office, Post Office Box 475, Jefferson City, Missouri 65105-0475 (phone 573-751-0961), or me.