Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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557.0000 TRANSPORTATION CHARGES—Regulation 1628

Annotation 557.0648

557.0648 Trusses. A company manufactures and sells trusses to general contractors who build custom homes. The contractors provide plans and specifications and the company assembles the trusses. There are two types of trusses: (1) less than 25 feet across which are banded together and dropped off at the customer's job site, and (2) larger trusses which have to be delivered to the job site in the company's truck and then the truck's boom is used to hold the trusses in place while the contractor's construction crew secures the trusses to the support beam. A transportation fee of $100 is charged to each contractor. For the larger trusses, the boom operator (truck driver) holds the trusses in place while the construction crew secures the trusses.

There are no contracts which require the company to furnish and install the trusses. The contract only provides that the trusses will be delivered for a $100 fee. There is no indication that the company must install the trusses. The contractor is charged $100 for delivery of the trusses but there is no indication that the driver of the truck who operates the boom has any unique expertise relating to the attachment of the trusses. In the present case, any boom operator could be hired to raise the trusses so that the crew could attach the trusses to the support beams. It is concluded that the company is not a construction contractor because it is not, pursuant to a construction contract, required to furnish and install tangible personal property.

There is no contract which calls for title to pass prior to delivery, so unless the trusses are realty at the time title passes, the transportation charges are taxable. The boom operator lifts the trusses up to the support beams so the construction crew can manipulate the trusses into place and secure them to the support beams. Once this crew takes control of the trusses, delivery takes place and title passes. At this point, the trusses are not realty. It is concluded that title to the trusses passes before the trusses become affixed to real property and that the transportation charges are subject to tax. Even if title did pass after the trusses were affixed, the tax result would be the same. It is well established that for the purpose of California's sales tax, the sales of personal property is nonetheless subject to sales tax even though affixed to the buyer's land. (United States Line, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 529.) 4/29/91.