Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Safety Apparel
PURPOSE: This Policy Statement describes the sales and use tax exemption under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91) for safety apparel.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective upon issuance and applicable to all open tax periods beginning on or after July 1, 1997.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91).
DEFINITION OF SAFETY APPAREL: Under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91), sales of safety apparel are exempt. Safety apparel is defined as "any item of clothing or protective equipment worn by an employee for protection during the course of the employee’s employment."
Safety apparel is clothing or equipment that is designed to protect an employee from bodily harm. To qualify for this exemption, clothing and equipment must be designed to do more than simply keep the employee and the employee’s street clothing clean or identify the employee through the use of a uniform. Safety apparel includes protective equipment worn by an athlete working in a professional capacity, whether as a competitor or an instructor or coach.
Safety apparel does not include clothing and equipment intended to protect the product being worked upon, such as clean room clothing or gloves and hairnets worn by food service industry workers. (However, such clothing and footwear may qualify for the other exemptions for clothing and footwear; see Other Clothing and Footwear Exemptions section.)
To qualify for the exemption, the safety apparel must be worn. Thus, only equipment designed to be carried on the body, or connected to such equipment, is exempt under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91).
The exemption under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91) applies to qualifying safety apparel whether the employer or the employee purchases it and whether the safety apparel is purchased outright or leased. The exemption is available to persons who are self-employed who purchase safety apparel for use during the course of their employment.
EXAMPLES OF SAFETY APPAREL: Following is a nonexclusive list of items that qualify as safety apparel for purposes of Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91):
IDENTIFICATION OF EXEMPT SALES: In most sales, it will be clear to the retailer that the safety apparel being purchased qualifies for exemption as intended for use by employees during the course of their employment. This will be the case, for example, when the purchasing department of an employer is making the purchase, or when the nature of the safety apparel being purchased is so specialized that the general public would not be purchasing it.
There will be some transactions, however, in which it will not be obvious that employees are purchasing the safety apparel for use during the course of their employment. This will be the case, for example, when the employee is making the purchase, or when the safety apparel is an item that the general public can use for non-employment purposes. In such cases, the retailer should obtain proof that the item of safety apparel is being purchased for use by an employee during the course of employment. A statement on the employer’s letterhead that identifies the employee and the item(s) purchased, and is signed by the employer, satisfies this requirement.
Retailers must retain evidence of exempt sales, together with bills or invoices for these sales, for at least six years.
OTHER CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR EXEMPTIONS:
ALERT: Effective April 1, 2003, the exemption from sales and use taxes for items of clothing is reduced. Beginning April 1, the exemption will apply to items of clothing costing less than $50 rather than to items of clothing costing less than $75. See SN 2003(3), Sales and Use Taxes on Retail Sales of Clothing.
Some items of clothing and footwear that are not safety apparel as defined in this Policy Statement may be exempt under Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(47), as amended by 2000 Conn. Pub. Acts 170, §3. That exemption is for purchases of clothing and footwear
EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: This Policy Statement amplifies Ruling No. 2000-1.
EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: A Policy Statement is a document that explains in depth a current DRS position, policy or practice affecting the tax liability of taxpayers.
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