The New York Department of Taxation and Finance ("Department") recently released a memo stating that it will classify certain items as exempt medical equipment or prosthetic aids. This classification will take effect July 1, 2014.
New York exempts sales of medical equipment and supplies. This exemption applies to sales of devices intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of illness or disease. It also applies to items used to correct or alleviate physical incapacity in humans. It does not apply to sales where the purchaser will use the item to provide medical services in exchange for compensation. Sales to hospitals, physicians, and ambulance companies are therefore not exempt. Starting July 1, 2014, the Department will classify the following items as exempt medical equipment and supplies: bath chairs and grab seats; bath safety grab bars, handles, and rails; over-bed tables; prefabricated wheelchair ramps; and wheelchair trays.
New York also exempts sales of qualifying prosthetic aids. Prosthetic aids are items primarily and customarily used to replace a missing body part or to replace the function of a permanently inoperative or malfunctioning body part. Starting July 1, 2014, the Department will classify power lift chairs as prosthetic aids.
These classifications apply only to sales made after July 1, 2014. Refunds are not available for sales or use taxes paid on purchases before that date.