Missouri – Room Rentals in Military Temporary Housing Facilities Not Taxable

SALT Report 1240 – The Missouri Director of Revenue ruled that a taxpayer’s rentals of rooms at a temporary housing facility on a military base are not subject to Missouri sales tax because the rooms are not regularly furnished or served to the public.

The temporary housing facilities are used for by those the taxpayer terms “official and unofficial travelers.” Official travelers are military personnel either on temporary duty, undergoing a change of station, or traveling on official military business. Unofficial travelers are family members of base personnel and other persons that are authorized by the base commander to be present, such as contractors.  All guests at the temporary housing facilities must have prior approval by the U.S. Department of Defense.  According to an earlier ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court, neither “official travelers” nor “unofficial travelers” constitute the public.
The Director based his decision on the following facts:  guests at the temporary housing facility must first be approved by the base commander and must have a specific purpose for being housed in the facility, the rooms are not furnished for public use, there is no attempt to invite the public to use the rooms, and a member of the general public could not rent a room at the facility.  Therefore, the rooms at the temporary housing facilities are not subject to the sales tax imposed in §144.020.1(6), RSMo.
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