The Sales Tax Connection

  • Welcome to the Sales Tax Connection!

    Our goal is to provide you with some interesting news about sales tax around the globe and give you links to other sites that you might find helpful. If you find something important is missing, or would like us to cover a specific topic, please leave us a comment. Remember to visit often as the website will be updated frequently with new items. As often as sales tax changes, so will we!
  • SalesTaxConnect on Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Top Posts

  • Top Clicks

  • Post History Archives

  • Disclaimer

    Tax legislation and administrative policies are complex and subject to change. Therefore, should you wish to ask for our opinion on any of the matters posted (or any sales tax matter in general), please know that the conclusions reached herein and views expressed are matters of interpretation and opinion rather than certainty. The information provided is based on understanding of the facts as provided by various media sources (and you) and is not meant to represent a ruling, nor is it legally binding.

    Should you require further clarification of any of these subjects to make determinations for your business, please contact us to arrange a formal agreement for consulting services. We can help you work directly with the taxing jurisdiction to obtain a written interpretation from the appropriate tax department or pursue the matter for you via required methods.

    If I am unable to assist you, I'll gladly promote others in the industry who I think are worthy.

  • Blog Stats

    • 304,029 Hits to date.
  • Advertisements

PA – Cleaning Services on Building Construction

Posted by salestax on July 8, 2008

The Office of Chief Counsel at the PA department of Revenue, put forth this ruling to define the difference between taxable cleaning services and non-taxable construction services.  It looks like anything before the final cleaning (debris removal, trash removal, vacuuming, checking lot for misc. garbage) for occupancy is considered tax exempt and the final cleaning (windows, floors, dusting, etc.) is taxable building maintenance or cleaning services. 

If you’re a cleaning service, or a contractor using one, break out your billing for each of these two phases of cleaning and only charge tax on the final clean-up.  I’m certain that PA will make it difficult to prove on an audit that only a portion of the invoice was for a final cleaning and that the majority should be non-taxable. 

Additionally, another tax savings idea is to ensure the cleaning company is reducing the “taxable” amount by the employee costs.  Employee costs are not taxable if broken out on the invoice.


Service Fee:      $100.00

Employee Cost -$20.00

Taxable:  $80.00

6% PA Sales Tax on $80 = 4.80

Amounts charged:  $100 + 4.80

Total Due: = $104.80

If the cleaning service doesn’t break out the employee cost, then the whole $100 would be taxable at 6% which would increase the total due to $106.00.  If you spend a lot on these services, this could save a good bit of cashflow.


23 Responses to “PA – Cleaning Services on Building Construction”

  1. Brian said

    Any thoughts or links on the taxability of day to day waste removal services?

  2. salestax said


    I believe basic trash hauling service would be exempt under Pennsylvania Code 31.6.(a)(6) Hauling and Transportation services.

    Here is a link to the PA Code:

    However, if your service also includes the sale/rental of trash containers, there might be different tax consequences depending on how it is billed.

    a. If you lump the service and the sale/rental in all one price, the PA department of revenue is likely to tax the entire charge.

    b. But, if your service includes the container and there is no additional charge (meaning the price of the waste removal is the same regardless of whether they use your containers), it would be non-taxable. In this case, though, you would be responsible for paying the tax on the containers when you buy them.

    c. It would be best to split the cost of the sale/rental from the service fee and only charge tax on the cost of the actual property being transferred to the customer.

    Not knowing the circumstance that prompted this question, I hope this has been of some help. If you have a specific scenario to share outside of what I presented here, I can look into it for you.

  3. Ernie Ginoble said

    This question is almost exact to sales tax on rental of containers at job sites, except we rent portable toilets for job sites and I’m wondering if I invoice in a different way I wouldn’t even have to charge sales tax. If I showed the rental as a no charge and only charged for the hauling of the waste then I too could also fall under the 31.6 tax code. If you could help me out with this I would appreciate it.

  4. salestax said


    I believe there are ways that you can correlate your portable toilets to the same type of service as trash hauling and medical waste hauling. These services also loan containers for the customers to use. I have a lot of thoughts on this and will reply privately… there’s too much to detail here.

  5. Ernie Ginoble said

    I previously wrote to about charging sales tax on rental of my portable toilets, thank you for replying. My new question is can I request for a refund for my tax I charged and if so is there a time frame because currently I am behind in paying my 2008 sales tax and they are telling me I am to late to file for an appeal. Also, do I need written permission from chief council to operate under 31.6(a)(6). I already started billing in the form of waste removal with no words related to rental based on what you told me and a lot of reading. But I still need my tax license restored just in case I need to charge tax for some other service.They told me it can’t be restored until I paid ’08 tax in full. Now they are threatening to take me to the magistrate for operating without a sales tax license and I told them I changed my way of billing, that’s why I asked you if I need official permission or not. I would appreciate your response a.s.a.p. Thanks alot

  6. I tried to pass off the code you sent to me to the local Dept of Rev.They told me no way. They said I fall under 31.11 – 31.16 and 61 Pa. Code ss 60.1 I read this over and can’t fiqure out where portable toilet cleaning fits into this. This is a major situation for me since I owe back sales tax for some months in ’08. I couldn’t find the code 31.6.(a)(6) that you sent me. I talked to my attorney and my accountant and nobody knows anything. I believe that the cleaning of temporary restrooms is a very vague subject. I talked to one person from the Dept of Rev. her interpretation is if I go to the said site where the unit is and I pick up the unit and take it to the dump and dump it that makes it not taxable, similar to a dumpster. Now because I stick a wand in the tank and pump the waste into my tank truck and then take it to the dump then its taxable, fiqure that out.

  7. I guess I’m writing to much I ran out of room. I don’t mean to bother you with this but I can’t seem to get an honest answer out of anybody

    Thanks Ernie

  8. San Luis Obispo cleaning info…

    Here’s some idea’s on cleaning suggests by a check list but also to be caution what you use and don’t use. Preparation:  Cleanliness requires a bath daily and a change to clean underclothing.  Use a preparation to prevent body odor.  …

  9. Duane Wert said

    Hi my question is about portable toilets. I called and talked to a rep. at about this matter and they told me I had to charge tax on the unit. But my question is if I place a toilet onsite for 6 months do I have to charge tax every month on it, or just the first time I set it up. thankyou.

  10. Car Rental Cyprus…

    […]PA – Cleaning Services on Building Construction « The Sales Tax Connection[…]…

  11. list building…

    […]PA – Cleaning Services on Building Construction « The Sales Tax Connection[…]…

  12. cena za čiščenje…

    […]PA – Cleaning Services on Building Construction « The Sales Tax Connection[…]…

  13. Waste King said

    Waste King…

    […]PA – Cleaning Services on Building Construction « The Sales Tax Connection[…]…

  14. After looking at a few of the blog posts on your site, I seriously
    appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to
    my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please visit my web site as well and tell me how you feel.

  15. My brother suggested I might like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  16. said

    Hey! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this.

    I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  17. Biogeniste said

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  18. You need to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality sites
    on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this blog!

  19. Last week, I got an interesting email question from a graduate business school student at one of the
    University of Texas business schools. However if you try to apply for
    it all by yourself then you will be left with more questions than answers.
    They were extremely efficient and were able when I had a
    few unforeseen problems to interrupt the filing procedure; and then pick up where they left off with flawlessly.

  20. It’s in fact very difficult in this active life to listen news on Television, therefore I only use web
    for that reason, and take the newest information.

  21. Hi friends, how is all, and what you would like to say on the topic
    of this piece of writing, in my view its really awesome in favor of me.

  22. This website truly has all the information I needed about this subject and didn’t know
    who to ask.

  23. LastJosie said

    I have noticed you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional
    bucks every month because you’ve got high quality content.
    If you want to know how to make extra bucks,
    search for: Mertiso’s tips best adsense alternative

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: