Glucose Strips Are Subject to Tax in Alabama

Monday, May 7th, 2012

 
 
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Alabama
General

The Administrative Law Division of the Alabama Department of Revenue recently ruled that sales of glucose strips in the state are subject to tax. DEGC Enterprises, Inc. v. State, Dept. of Revenue, Dkt. No. S. 10-1011 (Dept. of Revenue, Admin. Law Div. Mar. 12, 2012).

The taxpayer in the case is a licensed Alabama pharmacy that sold glucose test strips to diabetes patients in Alabama pursuant to physician prescriptions. The issue before the Division was whether those glucose test strips were exempt from sales tax under Alabama's prescription drug exemption.

In order for an item to qualify for the prescription drug exemption, it must be (1) a medicine; (2) prescribed by a physician; (3) filled by a licensed pharmacist; and (4) for human consumption or intake. Ala. Code sec. 40-23-4.1. While glucose strips could arguably satisfy the second and third requirements, they fail to meet the remaining two requirements. Glucose strips are not considered a "medicine" because they are not used to treat an illness (in this case, diabetes). Additionally, glucose strips were not made for human consumption; they cannot be applied, rubbed on topically, sprayed, or otherwise consumed by a human being. Therefore, the Division concluded that the glucose strips do not qualify for the prescription drug exemption because the strips are not considered a "medicine" and are not "for human consumption or intake."


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TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

TTR likes to keep things simple and fun, which is why it has great people who provide help to clients on any support questions they have about transaction tax issues.

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