The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) recently ruled that sales of safety wear to a manufacturer's employees are subject to sales tax. A retail establishment sold safety wear such as steel-toe boots, footwear accessories, clothing, and glasses. The items were sold to individuals who work for companies where manufacturing occurred, and to individuals who work for government agencies and non-profit entities that qualified for sales tax exemptions.
Missouri taxes sales of tangible personal property but provides an exemption for machinery and equipment used in manufacturing. The exemption does not extend to safety wear. Additionally, employees cannot claim the manufacturing exemption, only the manufacturer can. Sales to exempt entities such as government agencies and non-profits would normally be exempt, but because the sales were made to the employees instead of to the entity the sales were still taxable.