I’ve never been without a pet and have always considered them to be family members, not tangible personal property. Apparently, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance agreed with me when they held “[d]og walking is not among these enumerated services subject to sales tax.” Yet, less than two years later, the Department growled out another Advisory finding that “pet sitting, which includes dog walking, refreshing cat litter boxes, or providing food to the pets is subject to State and local sales and use tax.”
The Department reasoned that “. . . maintaining, servicing or repairing tangible personal property . . .” is an enumerated service and the Regulations clearly define animals to be tangible personal property. Why the sudden shift in opinion? I would like to think it was the Department’s desire to administratively broaden the tax base and not due to any bias against cats.
I’ve blogged several times about the Department’s fiasco regarding protective and detective services [June 27, 2016, March 7, 2016]. It took the Tax Appeals Tribunal to reign in the Department and remind them that receptionists are not trained security guards and their services are not subject to sales tax. Yet, the Department can’t keep its paws off this issue, despite the lack of any law change.