§ 52.4. Sellers and repairers of eyeglasses.
(a) General. The promulgation of this revised ruling reflects a change in the policy of the Department. Formerly, the production of optical lenses was not considered to be manufacturing. It has been determined, however, that, for sales and use tax purposes, the production of optical lenses is manufacturing. The effective date of this ruling is the date of its adoption. Its effect is, therefore, prospective only.
(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
EyeglassesThe term includes optical lenses, eyeglass frames, eyeglass temples and other components necessary to make optical lenses suitable for human wear.
Optical LensesThe term includes prescriptive and nonprescriptive lenses, contact lenses, tinted lenses for sunglasses, lenses for items as ski goggles and diving masks, and other similar optical lenses, whether the lenses are glass, plastic or other material.
(c) Manufacture of optical lenses. The cutting, molding, shaping, grinding and polishing of optical lenses is manufacturing as that term is defined in section 201(c) of the TRC (72 P. S. § 7201) and § 32.32 (relating to manufacturing; processing). Therefore, a manufacturer of optical lenses is entitled to claim the manufacturing exemption upon the purchase or use of tangible personal property which is directly used in the manufacture of optical lenses.
(d) Assembly of eyeglasses. Assembly of eyeglasses shall conform with the following:
(1) The assembly of eyeglasses by a person who also manufactures one or more eyeglass components is manufacturing as that term is defined in section 201(c) of the TRC and § 32.32. Therefore, the manufacturing exemption is available upon the purchase or use of tangible personal property which is directly used in the assembly of eyeglasses if the person performing the assembly also manufactures one or more of the components which are incorporated as part of the eyeglasses.
(2) The assembly alone of eyeglasses from previously manufactured components is not manufacturing, even if the person performing the assembly is required to fit lenses into particular frames or make other adjustments in order to fulfill the requirements of a prescription. Therefore, a person who only assembles eyeglasses is not entitled to claim the manufacturing exemption upon the purchase price of tangible personal property which is used in the assembly.
(e) Sale and repair. Sale and repair shall conform with the following:
(1) Sale or repair of prescriptive eyeglasses. The sale or repair of eyeglasses or eyeglass components prescribed for a particular individual by an ophthalmologist, oculist or optometrist is exempt from tax. This rule is applicable also to the sale or repair of eyeglasses or eyeglass components which replace those originally prescribed. A person who sells or repairs these eyeglasses or eyeglass components should not collect tax upon their sale price or repair charge.
(2) Sale or repair of nonprescriptive eyeglasses. The sale or repair of eyeglasses or eyeglass components not prescribed for a particular individual by an ophthalmologist, oculist or optometrist is subject to tax. A person who sells or repairs these eyeglasses or eyeglass components is required to register with the Department and to collect and remit tax. The repair of nonprescriptive eyeglasses or eyeglass components is more specifically governed by § 31.5 (relating to persons rendering taxable services).
(3) Tax liability of vendors and repairers. A person who sells or repairs eyeglasses shall pay tax upon his purchase or use of property which he utilizes in his business, except upon property which he purchases to resell or transfers to a customer in the course of a repair. The resale exemption is applicable to the purchase of eyeglasses or eyeglass components which are to be sold or transferred. To obtain the exemption, the vendor or repairer shall present to his supplier a properly completed exemption certificate indicating resale as the basis for the exemption.
The provisions of this § 52.4 amended October 28, 1977, effective October 29, 1977, 7 Pa.B. 3206.
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