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  1. #1
    rhondahonda is offline Junior Member
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    Wink Exercise equipment tax exempt with prescription?? (TEXAS)

    TEXAS

    I'm about to purchase a treadmill from a large speciality fitness store. I've been told by at least two people at different fitness stores that I can get my sales tax refunded to me if I:

    - get a prescription from my doctor with his letterhead AND
    - prescribing a specific piece of exercise equipment (in my case, a treadmill, but apparently it could be anything..) AND
    - the condition that it's treating (they did not state it had to be a clinical diagnosis, but I don't know - I said, "So it could say something like 'condition treated: sore knees' and that would be ok?" Apparently so.)

    I've been googling this, but I haven't found anything regarding exercise equipment being tax exempt to individuals with a physician's prescription. Can someone please verify this for me before I go and grovel at my doctor's office and embarass myself?

    This would save me about $200 in sales tax. I'd like to know the specifics before I try to get a prescription. Sure, I can run on a treadmill longer than concrete before my knees get sore, but I'm a healthy 28 year old - it's not like I need it for physical therapy or something.

    I'd really appreciate your opinions - Thanks!!!
  2. #2
    rhondahonda is offline Junior Member
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    I think I answered my own question...

    Hmmm, I guess I just got impatient, but here's what I was able to find. Looks like it can be tax exempt - cool! Hopefully my doc will be willing... :


    [URL="http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/incidence/limit.html"]http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/incidence/limit.html[/URL]
    Sec. 151.313. Health care supplies
    This provision exempts sales of both prescription and non-prescription drugs, corrective lenses and therapeutic devices prescribed by a doctor; insulin; hospital beds; hypodermic syringes or needles; braces; hearing aids; orthopedic, dental, or prosthetic devices; blood glucose monitoring test strips; and certain devices used by people who are blind or deaf. Several of these items have been exempt since 1961, but the exemption has been expanded over the years.

    [URL="http://tinyurl.com/qrmyu"]http://tinyurl.com/qrmyu[/URL]

    9403L1293F10



    INTEROFFICE MEMO

    DATE: March 11, 1994

    TO: Dwayne Van Wieren, Houston South Audit

    FROM: Bettie Peterson, Tax Administration 2E10

    SUBJECT: Taxability of specific exercise equipment prescribed by a doctor

    SPECIFIC INQUIRY: Could you please address the taxability of various exercise
    equipment when sold under a prescription of a licensed practitioner of the
    healing arts.

    RESPONSE: The rental, lease or sale of fitness equipment to an individual under
    a doctor's prescription qualifies for exemption as therapeutic appliances or
    devices as defined and exempted under sections (a)(11) and (c)(6) of Rule
    3.284.

    Exercise equipment such as (but not necessarily limited to): stair climbers,
    nautilus type weight machines, complete weight gym sets, hyper-extension
    machines, bicycles and stationary bicycles, treadmills, etc. may be purchased
    tax free under a prescription from a licensed practitioner of the healing arts.
    The prescription written by the doctor must state the patient's condition being
    treated and specifically identify the type of exercise equipment needed for
    treating the patient's condition.

    Microfiche #'s 667E07, 868B01, 750B02, 365A10, 365B13, 1282B05, 1164D1, and
    374D04, 07, and 09.


    ACCESSION NUMBER: 9403195L
    SUPERSEDED: N
    DOCUMENT TYPE: L
    DATE: 03/11/1994
    TAX TYPE: SALES

    [URL="http://tinyurl.com/nvclj"]http://tinyurl.com/nvclj[/URL] :

    8306L0829C01

    June 17, 1983

    THERAPEUTIC: EXEMPT WHEN SOLD, LEASED OR RENTED TO AN INDIVIDUAL ON DOCTOR'S
    PRESCRIPTION

    IF AN ITEM IS NOT ON THIS LIST DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING! TELEPHONE SALES TAX
    DIVISION TOLL FREE FROM ANYWHERE IN TEXAS 1-800-252-5555.
    THE REGULAR NUMBER IS 512/475-1931.

    TO BE THERAPEUTIC AN APPLIANCE MUST BE (1) DESIGNED FOR USE BY THE SICK AND (2)
    SOLD, LEASED OR RENTED TO AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER A DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.


    T

    Therabath (see Portable Paraffin Bath Units)*
    Theramatic Machines (see Dicithermy Machines)
    Thermophore Fomentation Device (heating pad)
    Thermo-Jet (see portable whirlpool pumps)
    Throat Suction Machines
    Toilet Seats
    Traction Equipment *
    Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulator
    Translift Chair
    Trapeze Bars (medical)
    Treadmill Exerciser
    Tri-Pads (chucks)
    Tub Chair
    Turbo-Jet (see portable whirlpool pumps)
  3. #3
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    While it's true that you don't have to pay the sales tax on these items IF they are medically necessary, where are you going to find a doctor willing to put his license on the line so that you, a HEALTHY 28 year old, can save $200?

    Doctors don't sign off on BS like this for other DOCTORS!
  4. #4
    rhondahonda is offline Junior Member
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    But, to play devil's advocate, it doesn't say anywhere in the code that it needs to be "medically necessary". It just needs to treat a condition - could the condition NOT be knee pain or back pain?
    If I can maintain a higher level of health and fitness by running on a treadmill than by running on concrete, doesn't that mean the treadmill has therapeutic value to me?

    I do appreciate your response, but I'm wondering why you think it would be so unreasonable to request a prescription from my doctor and particularly why writing a prescription for a treadmill to treat knee pain would jeopardize his license?
  5. #5
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhondahonda
    But, to play devil's advocate, it doesn't say anywhere in the code that it needs to be "medically necessary". It just needs to treat a condition - could the condition NOT be knee pain or back pain?
    If I can maintain a higher level of health and fitness by running on a treadmill than by running on concrete, doesn't that mean the treadmill has therapeutic value to me?

    I do appreciate your response, but I'm wondering why you think it would be so unreasonable to request a prescription from my doctor and particularly why writing a prescription for a treadmill to treat knee pain would jeopardize his license?
    No, there is no therapeutic value in you owning a treadmill that would justify a doctor fraudulently giving you a way out of paying sales tax on the purchase. There are many other alternatives available to you that would keep you from being FORCED to run on concrete.

    Since you do not have knee and/or back problems at this time, there is nothing to treat.
  6. #6
    rhondahonda is offline Junior Member
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    Are you saying that it's committing fraud to get a prescription like this?

    The code seems fairly vague - it does not say it has to be "medically necessary" and it does not say "there must be no other alternatives available" or something to that effect, to address your point. The code says nothing about the degree of severity the condition must have.

    If my knees hurt when running on concrete but feel ok when running on a treadmill (which is true), why is it fraudulent to prescribe a treadmill to treat joint soreness in the knees? Is there something you could point me to in the codes that would indicate that?

    Obviously I don't want to commit fraud or ask someone to do so, but given apparently broad scope of the language in the tax code I don't see why prescribing a treadmill to treat sore knees is at all fraudulent.

    Thanks again.
  7. #7
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhondahonda
    Are you saying that it's committing fraud to get a prescription like this?

    The code seems fairly vague - it does not say it has to be "medically necessary" and it does not say "there must be no other alternatives available" or something to that effect, to address your point. The code says nothing about the degree of severity the condition must have.

    If my knees hurt when running on concrete but feel ok when running on a treadmill (which is true), why is it fraudulent to prescribe a treadmill to treat joint soreness in the knees? Is there something you could point me to in the codes that would indicate that?

    Obviously I don't want to commit fraud or ask someone to do so, but given apparently broad scope of the language in the tax code I don't see why prescribing a treadmill to treat sore knees is at all fraudulent.

    Thanks again.
    Here's the thing, you have alternatives. You can stop running all together. Have you been told by the doctor that you need to run? If you only run as a form of exercise, there are many other types of exercises you can do that are not as hard on your knees.
  8. #8
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    The prescription written by the doctor must state the patient's condition being
    treated
    and specifically identify the type of exercise equipment needed for
    treating the patient's condition.
    You are missing something.

    The memo states the equipment must be prescribed to treat a condition, not that it is an alternative to something else. It also states the prescription must state what condition is being treated. So, yes, by this statement, it does state it needs to be "medically necessary".

    If you are healthy, there is no treatment prescribed, therefore, no tax free equipment.

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