Legal Memorandum: Payment of Sales and Use Tax in TN

Issue: Under Tennessee law, is a service provider required to pay sales and use tax?

Area of Law: Tax Law
Keywords: Sales and use tax; Service provider; Tangible personal property
Jurisdiction: Tennessee
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-201; Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-102 (F); Tenn. Code Ann. 67-6-102 (26); Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-203; Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-201; Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-102
Date: 04/01/2001

A sales tax of 5.5 percent is imposed on every person who engages in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-201 (1991 Supp.).  A sale at retail includes the following taxable services:  sale, rental or charges for any rooms, lodging or accommodations; charges for services rendered by persons operating a garage or parking lot; the furnishing for a consideration of telecommunication services; the performing of any repair services; laundering or dry cleaning; and the installation of tangible personal property.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-102 (F) (1989).  Tangible personal property includes any personal property which may be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or touched or is in any other manner perceptible to the senses.  Tenn. Code Ann. 67-6-102 (26) (1991 Supp.)

Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-203 (1989) provides that a tax is levied at the rate of 5.5 percent of the cost price of each item of tangible personal property used, consumed or stored for use or consumption in the state.  Every person who uses or consumes any item of tangible personal property within the state is subject to tax irrespective of actual ownership of the property.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-201 (1989).  “Cost price” is defined as the actual cost of articles of tangible personal property without any deductions for cost of materials labor, service costs, transportation or any other expenses.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-102 (1989).


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