By Mary Alexander and Andrew Appleby

The Maine Board of Tax Appeals determined that a non-itemized installation charge was subject to the service provider tax (SPT) when a portion of the charge included the installation of telecommunications equipment. The taxpayer, an Internet service provider, invoiced customers a single “installation charge” for various services, which included connecting a wireless radio to the customer’s router with an Ethernet cable. According to Maine statutory provisions, the “installation, maintenance or repair of telecommunications equipment” is a service subject to the SPT. Given that telecommunications equipment is statutorily defined to include all transmission media that are used or capable of being used in the provision of two-way interactive communications, the board determined that the taxpayer was providing a taxable service. The board also rejected the taxpayer’s argument that the assessment was overstated because it was based on the value of both taxable and nontaxable services. Because the taxpayer did not separately state charges for nontaxable services on the invoice, the board concluded that it had failed to carry its burden of proof. [Corporate Taxpayer] v. Maine Revenue Servs., Docket No. BTA-2013-11 (Me. Bd. Tax App. May 2, 2014).