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We are a not for profit organization. We plan to print our magazine in MA because the editor lives there and would like to have a sales tax certificate of exemption. How do we go about it?

Full Question: We are a not for profit organization. We are looking to print our magazine in Massachusetts because the technical editor lives there and would like to have a certificate of exemption from the Sales Tax. How do we go about it?

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Answer:

Diane Yetter photoThe following answer applies only to the state of Massachusetts. If the printer is mailing the publication for you, other states may need to be evaluated. At a minimum you should evaluate all the states where you have nexus. The state of Massachusetts does provide an exemption for organizations that are exempt from tax under the federal 501(c)(3) provisions. Massachusetts Sec. 6(m), Ch 64H, GL states: Sales to any corporation, foundation, organization or institution, which is exempt from taxation under the provisions of section five hundred and one (c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and in effect for the applicable period; provided, however, that such sales shall not be exempt unless (1) the tangible personal property or services which are the subject of such sales is used in the conduct of such religious charitable, educational or scientific enterprise, (2) such corporation, foundation, organization or institution shall have first obtained a certification from the commissioner stating that it is entitled to such exemption, and (3) the vendor keeps a record of the sales price of each such separate sale, the name of the purchaser, the date of each such separate sale, and the number of such certificate. The certificate of exemption issued by the commissioner under clause (2) shall be effective for a period of 10 years from the date of its issuance or until January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-four, whichever shall last expire provided that ninety days prior to said date the commissioner shall notify such corporation, foundation, organization or institution of the expiration date of said certificate. Such corporation, foundation, organization or institution must obtain from the commissioner a renewal of such certificate in order to be entitled to a continuance of such exemption beyond the expiration date of any existing certificate. The exemption is subject to the conditions that: (1) the property sold must be used in the conduct of the organization's religious, charitable, educational, or scientific enterprise; (2) the organization must have received a certification from the Commissioner of Revenue that it is entitled to the exemption; and (3) the vendor must keep records of each exempt sale, including the number of the certificate, the name of the purchaser, the sales price and the date of the sale. A certificate of exemption issued by the Commissioner will be effective for 10 years. In order to claim the exemption, you must first register with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Once you register, you will need to request the Certificate of Exemption (Form ST-2). Once you receive your certificate of exemption you will issue a ST-5 to your supplier to claim the exemption. You can visit the Massachusetts DOR web page to register your business online or call them at (617) 887-MDOR to request the registration application. If you are interested in assistance with this, please let us know and we can discuss our services.

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