Washington – Liquid Nitrogen Used by Cancer Center Was Exempt

SALT Report 1674 – The Washington Department of Revenue ruled that a Taxpayer was entitled to a refund of Washington sales tax on its purchases of liquid nitrogen used to store tissue samples used for cancer research.
Washington provides an exemption from retail sales and use tax for medical supplies, chemicals, and materials used or consumed in “performing research on, procuring, testing, processing, storing, packaging, distributing or using blood, bone, or tissue by comprehensive cancer centers.”
Initially in 2000, the Taxpayer did not qualify for the exemption because comprehensive cancer centers were not included in the definition of an organization that is “organized solely for the purpose of performing research on, procuring, testing, processing, storing, packaging, distributing, or using blood, bone, or tissue” as written in RCW 82.04.324. However in 2005, the statutory language was revised and comprehensive cancer centers were added to the list of organizations that qualify for the exemption.
Ultimately, the Department determined that the Taxpayer fell with the 2005 guidelines of a “comprehensive cancer center” under RCW 82.04.4265 and the Taxpayer’s purchases of liquid nitrogen were exempt from retail sales tax and the request for a refund was granted.
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