Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 23. Taxation
Agency 10. Department Of Taxation
Chapter 210. Retail Sales and Use Tax
2/25/2021

23VAC10-210-1071. Nonprofit organizations; exempt transactions.

A. The exemptions that have been granted by the General Assembly typically apply only to the use or consumption of tangible personal property by an organization. When an exemption is limited solely to the use or consumption of tangible personal property, the organization generally will be subject to the tax on purchases of meals and lodging, which are considered taxable services. In limited situations, the General Assembly has granted broader exemptions to certain organizations so as to exempt taxable services, such as meals and lodging, and sales of tangible personal property.

When a nonprofit organization is exempt from paying the tax on the purchase of tangible personal property or services, it should furnish to its supplier a properly completed exemption certificate, either Form ST-13 or ST-13A. If such nonprofit organization is not making taxable sales as a registered dealer or is not required to register for consumer use tax, it will usually not have a Virginia Retail Sales and Use Tax registration number. In this instance, there is no requirement to place a registration number on the exemption certificate when making purchases. Instead, "Not Applicable" should be placed on the Certificate of Exemption where the registration number is required.

If the nonprofit organization does not have an exemption certificate but has received a ruling letter from the department stating that it is exempt by statute, then this letter may be furnished to suppliers instead of the exemption certificate in order to verify that the purchase is exempt from the tax.

B. According to 23VAC10-210-4040, meals and lodging are considered taxable services rather than tangible personal property. In order to make an exempt purchase of meals and lodging, an organization's exemption must contain specific language which exempts the purchase of services. An example of this language is found in subdivision 4 of § 58.1-609.4 of the Code of Virginia, which exempts:

Tangible personal property and services purchased by an educational institution doing business in the Commonwealth which (i) admits regularly enrolled high school and college students and (ii) provides a face-to- face educational experience in American government, a program which leads towards the successful completion of United States history, civics, and problems in democracy courses in high school, or which is acceptable for full credit towards an undergraduate or graduate level college degree, provided such institution is conducted not for profit.

Therefore, nonprofit organizations are subject to the sales tax on meals and lodging unless their respective statutes specifically exempt services.

C. If an organization is regularly engaged in selling tangible personal property, it is not required to collect the tax if the organization's exemption contains specific language exempting these sales. An example of this language is found in subdivision 14 of § 58.1-609.8 of the Code of Virginia, which exempts:

. . .tangible personal property purchased for use or consumption, or to be sold at retail, by any nonsectarian youth organization exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code which is organized for the purposes of the character development and citizenship training of its members using the methods now in common use by Girl Scout or Boy Scout organizations in Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 58.1-203 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR630-10-74 § 2; revised July 1969; January 1979; August 1982; November 1983; August 1984; amended, eff. July 28, 1993.

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