Ohio State Tax Blog

Current developments, commentary and helpful resources regarding Ohio state and multistate taxes from attorneys Steven A. Dimengo and Richard Fry. We concentrate on all aspects of Ohio state taxation, including sales/use tax, income tax and commercial activity tax, from audits to appeals before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court, and have significant experience in multistate tax planning. Contact us.

Home Archives Ohio Sales Tax Ohio Sales and Use Tax - Proper Use of Exemption Certificates by Construction Contractors
Ohio Sales and Use Tax - Proper Use of Exemption Certificates by Construction Contractors PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 December 2012 17:50

Depending on the nature of the project, contractors may claim an Ohio sales / use tax exemption on material purchases using several different exemption certificates. If installing a business fixture (i.e., permanent attachment to real property that primarily benefits the specific business operated on the premises), the contractor, acting as a retail vendor in this situation, can claim the resale exemption by providing suppliers with a standard exemption certificate when purchasing materials that will be transferred to the customer. The contractor may use a blanket exemption certificate, which covers all purchases from that vendor unless specified otherwise, or a unit exemption certificate, which only covers a single purchase. Assuming the contractor will make future taxable purchases from the supplier of materials to be incorporated into real property improvements, a unit exemption certificate is likely more appropriate. Alternatively, contractors can also use the multi-state Certificate of Exemption adopted by the Streamline Sales and Use Tax Governing Board. To be valid, any exemption certificate must contain the information set forth in O.A.C. § 5703-9-03(G). 

When installing a business fixture, the contractor must collect sales tax from its customer unless an exemption is available. If claiming an exemption on its sale, such as when the customer is a government agency or charitable organization, or the property will be used directly in manufacturing, the contractor should obtain one of the aforementioned exemption certificates from its customer to evidence the exempt nature of the transaction. 

On the other hand, contractors may purchase materials exempt from Ohio sales and use tax based upon an exempt real property improvement. These include construction contracts whereby building materials are incorporated into real property under a contract with a government agency, or into a horticulture or livestock structure, a house of public worship or a hospital, among others. O.A.C. § 5703-9-14(D)(1). To properly claim the exemption in these cases, the contractor should obtain a Sales and Use Tax Construction Exemption Certificate (Form STEC CC) from the property owner or general contractor, and then issue a Sales and Use Tax Contractor’s Exemption Certificate (Form STEC CO) to its supplier. 

Refer to our earlier post for protecting contractors from misclassifying real property improvements.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 13:10



Ohio State Tax Attorney, Steven A. Dimengo

Steve Dimengo is recognized as one of the leading tax attorneys in Ohio, where he has been serving clients for over twenty-five years. Full Profile. Cases. Email.


Ohio State Tax Attorney, Richard B. Fry III

Richard Fry is an Associate focusing on business law, specifically taxation. He holds a J.D. and Masters of Taxation from the University of Akron. Full Profile. Email.



Steve will be speaking at the Lorman Sales and Use Tax in Ohio Seminar to be held in Akron on January 21, 2014.  He will be discussing Manufacturing Exemptions, Transfer of Business and Personal Liability for Sales tax.  Click here to see more (and register).



Steven Dimengo has been named the Best Lawyers' 2012 Akron Tax Law Lawyer of the Year