Laundry Soap and Water Treatment Chemicals Subject to Tax in Missouri

Thursday, March 20th, 2014


The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that a laundry and uniform rental service owed tax on its purchases of laundry soap and water treatment chemicals.

The taxpayer ran a commercial laundry and uniform rental service. For this service, the taxpayer delivered clean uniforms, picked up dirty ones, and cleaned them for future use. The taxpayer had to treat wastewater from the laundry operation before it could discharge the water into the city sewer system. The taxpayer purchased water treatment chemicals and laundry soap for this operation.

Missouri taxes sales of tangible personal property unless an exemption applies. There is an exemption for chemicals used in manufacturing or processing a product. The taxpayer argued that the laundry soap qualified for this exemption. There is also an exemption for machinery and equipment used to abate water pollution. The taxpayer argued that the water treatment chemicals qualified for this exemption.

The court ruled that neither of these exemptions applied. The soap was not exempt because it was not used to manufacture or process products. The laundering process merely restored the uniforms to their original state; it did not create new products. The laundry soap was therefore taxable. The water treatment chemicals were not exempt because they were not machinery or equipment. The chemicals were not permanent enough to be machinery or equipment. The chemicals were therefore taxable.

About TTR

Transaction (buying or selling things), Tax (the tax on this activity), Resources (our people, our website, our support services) - TTR, Inc.

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.

Please visit TTR on the web at or call 866.578.8193.

Economic Nexus in Washington

Monday, August 13th, 2018 -Effective October 1, 2018, certain out-of-state businesses will be required to collect and pay Washington sale...

Economic Nexus in Michigan

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 -Effective October 1, 2018, certain out-of-state sellers will be required to collect and pay Michigan sales or ...

Georgia Suspends Tax on Jet Fuel

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 -Effective August 1, 2018, Georgia no longer collects state level sales and use tax on jet fuel. Georgia tax...

Employment Services Contracts for Permanent Employees Not...

Monday, August 6th, 2018 -The Ohio Board of Tax Appeals recently addressed whether contracts entered into by an employment services agen...

Alarm Systems and Monitoring Not Taxable in Missouri

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 -The Missouri Department of Revenue recently released a ruling determining that (1) security, fire, tornado, an...

Economic Nexus in Utah

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 -Effective January 1, 2019, certain out-of-state sellers will be required to collect and pay Utah sales or use ...