By Ted Friedman and Jonathan Feldman

The Utah Supreme Court held that optional liability waiver fees paid by customers along with lease-to-own rental payments were not subject to sales and use tax. Customers that choose to pay this extra fee are not required to reimburse the corporation for any loss if the goods are damaged before acquiring ownership. The court reasoned that the fee is not “paid or charged for leases or rentals of tangible personal property,” as required by statute, because the fee does not affect the customer’s possession, use or operation of the goods and, therefore, is not subject to sales and use tax. Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Utah State Tax Comm’n, No. 20140129 (Utah Jan. 5, 2016).