Transylvania Court Ruled Blood Exempt as Food Product

Thursday, October 30th, 2014


The Thirteenth Circuit Appeals Court of Transylvania recently decided that sales of blood were exempt from sales tax as "food and food ingredients."

Transylvania exempts sales of "food and food ingredients" from sales tax. As a member of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, the state defines "food and food ingredients" as substances that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. Historically, the state has interpreted the definition to exclude blood and other products not regularly consumed by living humans.

The taxpayer, a grocery store chain that caters primarily to "differently alive" customers, challenged the state's interpretation of "food and food ingredients." The taxpayer argued that excluding blood from the definition of "food" was discriminatory to its customers.

The Court determined that blood and similar products were exempt. It ruled that the definition of "food" only said that substances must be for ingestion by humans - it did not specify that the humans must be alive at the time they ingested the substance. As a result, blood was an exempt food product.

See Vlad, Lestat & Bella: Grocers vs. Transylvania Dept. of Revenue.

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