Consumer Watchdog: Sales tax rules for appliances often confusing
News from Wilkes Barre Times-Leader:

Back in February I wrote about a Pennsylvania law that considers installed home-improvement purchases non-taxable construction contracts.

That means you, the consumer, are not responsible for paying sales tax on the sale and installation of a built-in dishwasher, furnace or water heater, for example, because these items, once installed, are part of the real estate. You would, however, pay sales tax on the purchase of a portable dishwasher, which is not installed as a permanent fixture in the home and does not become part of the real estate.

Last week I received an email from Bill Ross of Mountain Top requesting clarification of this law. On March 24, Ross purchased five kitchen appliances from Voitek TV in Exeter – an over-the-range microwave, double oven, cook top, built-in dishwasher and a refrigerator. Despite the fact that Voitek TV will permanently install all but the refrigerator, Ross was charged 6 percent sales tax — $ 526 — on the entire $ 8,769 purchase price.

“I feel I should not be charged Pennsylvania sales tax on appliances installed in my house,” Ross wrote. “Please explain.”

So I called Voitek TV in Exeter and reached Store Manager Dave Voitek, a very personable guy who offered a candid explanation for seemingly ignoring the law.

“It’s not that we’re taking advantage,” he said. “The law states the 6 percent sales tax has…………… continues on Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

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