Private Letter Ruling

Ruling Number:P-2003-053
Tax Type:Kansas Retailers' Sales Tax
Brief Description:Religious organizations.
Approval Date:10/28/2003

Office of Policy & Research

October 28, 2003


Thank you for your recent letter. You ask if the XXXX, is exempt from paying Kansas sales tax. Please be advised that it is not.

You provided the XXXX Mission Statement: Purchasing Bibles for children and adults alike. Computers, to carry out the ongoing work of the organization. (These computers are used to maintain records of children in the schools, other need of the projects and communications with counterparts in other parts of the world. Computer parts and repairs to maintain the computers. Teaching material used by local teacher for children in religious and secular schools. Office materials used to administer activities, such as printing brochures, pencils, paper, film, cameras for taking children's pictures for new sponsors. Additionally, food, medicines, sanitation supplies, warm blankets, clothing, etc., is purchased as the need arises to help in catastrophic events wherever and whenever they occur worldwide.

Unlike some states, Kansas does not have a broad-based sales tax exemption for 501(c)(3) organizations. A number of 501(c)(3) organizations have petitioned the Kansas legislature and been granted an exempt status. These include the following groups.

As this shows, sales tax exemptions are typically granted only to specific organizations. Yours is not one of them.

The one broad-based exemption that might apply to XXXX is the exemption for "religious organizations." K.S.A. 79-3606(aaa). The term "religious organization" has been used in Kansas statutes since the nineteenth century. The court cases that have construe the term provide a fairly clear meaning of the term for tax purposes. These cases allowed the term to be defined for sales tax purposes. This definition is set forth in Notice 99-14:

Nothing in the by-laws of XXXX suggest that the organization is a "group that gathers in common membership for mutual support and edification, in piety, worship, and religious observance, at an established place of worship which the organization maintains for the purpose of conducting regularly scheduled religious services or meetings. . . ." Accordingly, XXXX does not qualify for exemption from Kansas sales tax as a religious organization.

This is a private letter ruling pursuant to K.A.R. 92-19-59. It is based solely on the facts provided in your request. If it is determined that undisclosed facts were material or necessary to an accurate determination by the department, this ruling is null and void. This ruling will be revoked in the future by the operation of law without further department action if there is a change in the statutes, administrative regulations, or case law, or published revenue ruling, that materially effects this private letter ruling. Attorney/Policy & Research

Date Composed: 10/28/2003 Date Modified: 10/28/2003