The Missouri Department of Revenue ("Department") recently determined that self-service car washes were not subject to sales tax. A self-service car wash company requested a ruling from the Department on the taxability of their services. The company provides a place for people to wash their own cars and supplies water and chemicals to the customers as part of the service. The company pays tax to its suppliers on the water and chemicals at the time of purchase.
Missouri taxes sales of tangible personal property and designated services unless an exemption applies. Providing self-service car wash services is not designated as taxable. As a result, the Department determined that the company's services were not taxable.