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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 32: Taxation and Finance

Chapter 225: MEALS AND ROOMS TAX

  • Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • § 9201. Statutory purposes

    (a) The statutory purpose of the exemption for grocery-type items furnished for take-out in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(i) of this title is to limit the cost of goods that are necessary for the health and welfare of all people in Vermont.

    (b) The statutory purpose of the exemption for meals served or furnished on the premises of a nonprofit organization in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(I) of this title is to allow more of the revenues generated by certain activities to be dedicated to furthering the public-service missions of the organizations.

    (c) The statutory purpose of the exemption for meals provided on school premises in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(II) of this title is to reduce the overall cost of education in Vermont.

    (d) The statutory purpose of the exemption for meals provided at hospitals and convalescent and nursing homes in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(IV) of this title is to reduce the overall costs of health care and senior care in Vermont.

    (e) The statutory purpose of the exemption for summer camps for children in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(VI) of this title is to reduce the cost of summer education and outdoor activities for youth.

    (f) The statutory purpose of the exemption for nonprofits at fairs, bazaars, picnics, and similar events in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(VII) of this title is to allow more of the revenues generated by certain activities to be dedicated to furthering the public-service missions of the organizations.

    (g) The statutory purpose of the exemption for meals furnished to an employee of a hotel or restaurant operator as remuneration for his or her employment in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(VIII) of this title is to avoid the taxation of in-kind benefits.

    (h) The statutory purpose of the exemption for meals served on the premises of a continuing care retirement community in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(ii)(XI) is to exclude meals prepared in a person's home from taxation.

    (i) The statutory purpose of the exemption for student housing in subdivision 9202(8) of this title is to reduce the overall costs of education in Vermont.

    (j) The statutory purpose of the exemption for rooms furnished to an employee of a hotel or restaurant operator as remuneration for his or her employment in subdivision 9202(6) of this title is to exclude the taxation of in-kind benefits.

    (k) The statutory purpose of the exemption for summer camps for children in subdivision 9202(6) of this title is to reduce the cost of summer education and outdoor activities for youth.

    (l) The statutory purpose of the exemption for rooms on the premises of a nonprofit in subdivision 9202(3)(C) of this title is to allow more of the revenues generated by certain activities to be dedicated to furthering the public-service missions of the organizations.

    (m) The statutory purpose of the exemption for rooms on the premises of a continuing care retirement community in subdivision 9202(3)(D) of this title is to exclude from taxation rooms that are a person's residence.

    (n) The statutory purpose for the exemption for cannabis and cannabis products as defined under 7 V.S.A. § 831 in subdivision 9202(10)(D)(iv) of this title is to avoid having both the meals and rooms tax and the cannabis excise tax apply to edible cannabis products. (Added 2013, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 17b.)

  • § 9202. Definitions

    The following words, terms, and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

    (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Taxes appointed under section 3101 of this title and his or her authorized representatives.

    (2) "Person" means any individual, combination of individuals, firm, partnership, society, association, joint stock company, corporation, or any of the foregoing acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by court or otherwise.

    (3) "Hotel" means an establishment that holds itself out to the public by offering sleeping accommodations for a consideration, whether or not the major portion of its operating receipts is derived therefrom and whether or not the sleeping accommodations are offered to the public by the owner or proprietor or lessee, sublessee, mortgagee, licensee, or any other person or the agent of any of the foregoing. The term includes inns, motels, tourist homes and cabins, ski dormitories, ski lodges, lodging homes, rooming houses, furnished-room houses, boarding houses, and private clubs, as well as any building or structure or part thereof to the extent to which any such building or structure or part thereof in fact is held out to the public by offering sleeping accommodations for a consideration. As used in this chapter, the term includes "short-term rental" as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 4301. The term shall not include the following:

    (A) a hospital licensed under 18 V.S.A. chapter 43 or a nursing home, residential care home, assisted living residence, home for the terminally ill, therapeutic community residence as defined pursuant to 33 V.S.A. chapter 71, or independent living facility;

    (B) any establishment operated by any state or U.S. agency or institution, except the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation of the State of Vermont;

    (C) an establishment operated by a nonprofit corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes, one or more, that, in furtherance of any of the purposes for which it was organized, operates a hotel as defined herein;

    (D) a continuing care retirement community certified under 8 V.S.A. chapter 151.

    (4) "Operator" means any person, or his or her agent, operating a hotel, whether as owner or proprietor or lessee, sublessee, mortgagee, licensee, or otherwise; and any person, or his or her agent, charging for a taxable meal or alcoholic beverage; and any person, or his or her agent, engaged in both of the foregoing activities. The term "operator" shall include booking agents and taxable meal facilitators. In the event that an operator is a corporation or other entity, the term "operator" shall include any officer or agent of such corporation or other entity who, as an officer or agent of the corporation, is under a duty to pay the gross receipts tax to the Commissioner as required by this chapter.

    (5) "Occupant" means a person who, for a consideration, uses, possesses, or has a right to use or possess any room or rooms in a hotel under any lease, concession, permit, right of access, license, or agreement. The term shall not include a permanent resident.

    (6) "Occupancy" means the use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any room or rooms in a "hotel" for any purpose, or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services and accommodations accompanying the use and possession of a room or rooms. The term shall not include occupancy by a "permanent resident," or by an employee of an operator when such occupancy is granted to the employee as remuneration for his or her employment, or any occupancy furnished in a summer camp for children.

    (7) "Permanent resident" means any occupant who has occupied any room or rooms in a "hotel" for at least 30 consecutive days.

    (8) "Rent" means the consideration received for occupancy valued in money, whether received in money or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits, and property or services of any kind or nature, and also any amount for which the occupant is liable for the occupancy without any deduction therefrom whatsoever; and any monies received in payment for time-share rights at the time of purchase; provided, however, that such money received shall not be considered rent and thus not taxable if a deeded interest is granted to the purchaser for the time-share rights. The term "rent" shall include all amounts collected by booking agents except the tax required to be collected under this chapter. The term "rent" shall not include rental charges for living quarters, sleeping, or household accommodations to any student necessitated by attendance at a school as defined herein.

    (9) "School" means an incorporated nonstock educational institution, including an institution empowered to confer educational, literary, or academic degrees, that has a regular faculty, curriculum, and organized body of pupils or students in attendance throughout the usual school year; that keeps and furnishes to students and others records required and accepted for entrance to a school of secondary, collegiate, or graduate rank; no part of the earnings of which inure to the benefit of any individual.

    (10) "Taxable meal" means:

    (A) Any food or beverage furnished within the State by a restaurant for which a charge is made, including admission, delivery or other facilitator charge, and minimum charges, whether furnished for consumption on or off the premises.

    (B) Where furnished by other than a restaurant, any nonprepackaged food or beverage furnished within the State and for which a charge is made, including admission, delivery or other facilitator charge, and minimum charges, whether furnished for consumption on or off the premises. Fruits, vegetables, candy, flour, nuts, coffee beans, and similar unprepared grocery items sold self-serve for take-out from bulk containers are not subject to tax under this subdivision.

    (C) Regardless where sold and whether or not prepackaged:

    (i) sandwiches of any kind except frozen;

    (ii) food or beverage furnished from a salad bar;

    (iii) heated food or beverage; and

    (iv) food or beverage sold through a vending machine.

    (D) "Taxable meal" shall not include:

    (i) Food or beverage, other than that taxable under subdivision (10)(C) of this section, that is a grocery-type item furnished for take-out: whole pies or cakes; loaves of bread; single-serving bakery items sold in quantities of three or more; delicatessen and nonprepackaged candy sales by weight or measure, except party platters; whole uncooked pizzas; pint or larger closed containers of ice cream or frozen confection; eight ounce or larger containers of salad dressings or sauces; maple syrup; quart or larger containers of cider or milk.

    (ii) Food or beverage, including that described in subdivision (10)(C) of this section, or alcoholic beverages:

    (I) served or furnished on the premises of a nonprofit corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious or charitable purposes, in furtherance of any of the purposes for which it was organized, with the net sales revenues of the food or beverage or alcoholic beverages to be used exclusively for the purposes of the corporation or association;

    (II) served or furnished on the premises of a school as defined herein;

    (III) served or furnished on the premises of any institution of the State, political subdivision thereof, or of the United States to inmates and employees of such institutions;

    (IV) prepared by the employees thereof and served in any hospital licensed under 18 V.S.A. chapter 43;

    (V) furnished by any person while transporting passengers for hire by train, bus, or airplane, if furnished on any train, bus, or airplane;

    (VI) furnished by any person while operating a summer camp for children, in such camp;

    (VII) sold by nonprofit organizations at bazaars, fairs, picnics, church suppers, or similar events to the extent of four such events of a day's duration, held during any calendar year; provided, however, where sales are made at such events by an organization required to have a meals and rooms registration license or otherwise required to have a license because its selling events are in excess of the number permitted, the sale of such food or beverage or alcoholic beverages shall constitute sales made in the regular course of business and are not exempted from the Vermont meals and rooms gross receipts tax;

    (VIII) furnished to any employee of an operator as remuneration for his employment;

    (IX) provided to the elderly pursuant to the Older Americans Act, 42 U.S.C. chapter 35, subchapter III;

    (X) purchased under the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);

    (XI) served or furnished on the premises of a continuing care retirement community certified under 8 V.S.A. chapter 151; or

    (XII) prepared and served by the employees, volunteers, or contractors of any nursing home, residential care home, assisted living residence, home for the terminally ill, therapeutic community residence as defined pursuant to 33 V.S.A. chapter 71, or independent living facility; provided, however, that "contractor" under this subdivision excludes meals or alcoholic beverages provided by a restaurant as defined by subdivision (15) of this section when those meals or alcoholic beverages are not otherwise available generally to residents of the facility.

    (iii) Food or beverage purchased for resale, provided that at the time of sale the purchaser provides the seller an exemption certificate in a form approved by the Commissioner. However, when the food or beverage purchased for resale is subsequently resold, the subsequent purchase does not come within this exemption unless the subsequent purchase is also for resale and an exemption certificate is provided.

    [ Subdivision (10)(D)(iv) effective March 1, 2022.]

    (iv) Cannabis or cannabis products as defined under 7 V.S.A. § 831.

    (11) "Alcoholic beverages" means any malt beverages, vinous beverages, spirits, or fortified wines as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2 and served for immediate consumption. "Alcoholic beverages" shall be exempt from the tax imposed under section 9241 of this chapter when served under the circumstances enumerated in subdivision (10)(D)(ii) of this section under which food or beverages or alcoholic beverages are excepted from the definition of "taxable meal."

    (12) "Food or beverage" means any substance used by humans for food, drink, confectionery, or condiment, except alcoholic beverages.

    (13) "Heated food or beverage" means any food or beverage prepared for sale in a heated condition by, for example, cooking, microwaving, or warming by infrared lights, steam tables, or other heating devices. Food is considered heated regardless of cooling to air temperature that incidentally occurs. Bakery products that are sold still warm from initial baking are not heated foods unless a heat source is applied to maintain them for sale in a heated condition.

    (14) "Prepackaged" means packaged off the premises of the operator, whether packaged in single servings or larger quantities, and sold in the original unopened container; or packaged on the premises and sold in the unopened package provided the operator sells for resale at least 80 percent of all items packaged in the same type and size of packaging.

    (15) "Restaurant" means:

    (A) An establishment from which food or beverage of the type for immediate consumption is sold or for which a charge is made, including a cafe, cafeteria, dining room, diner, lunch counter, snack bar, private or social club, bar, tavern, street vendor, or person engaged in the business of catering.

    (B) An establishment 80 percent or more of whose total sales of food and beverage in the previous taxable year were, or in the first taxable year are reasonably projected to be, of alcoholic beverages, food, and beverage that are taxable under subdivision (10)(C) of this section and food and beverage that are taxable under subdivision (10)(B) and are not exempt under subdivision (10)(D) of this section.

    (C) "Restaurant" shall not include a snack bar on the premises of a retail grocery or "convenience" store.

    (16) "Salad bar" means any counter, stand, table, or other display of salads and other foods at which the customer may handle, cook, cut, mix, or dispense, in a nonpackaged state, the food displayed.

    (17) "Snack bar" means a counter with no seating at which prepared food is offered only for self-service.

    (18) "Independent living facility" means a congregate living environment, however named, for profit or otherwise, that meets the definitions of housing complexes for older persons as enumerated in 9 V.S.A. § 4503(b) and (c), or housing programs designed to meet the needs of individuals with a disability as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 4501(2) and (3).

    (19) "Vending machine" means a machine operated by coin, currency, credit card, slug, token, coupon, or similar device that dispenses food or beverages.

    (20) "Booking agent" means a person who facilitates the rental of an occupancy and collects rent for an occupancy and who has the right, access, ability, or authority, through an Internet transaction or any other means, to offer, reserve, book, arrange for, remarket, distribute, broker, resell, or facilitate an occupancy that is subject to the tax under this chapter.

    (21) "Taxable meal facilitator" means a person who facilitates the sale and collects the charge for a taxable meal or alcoholic beverage through an Internet transaction or any other means. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 3; amended 1963, No. 227, § 1; 1964, No. 15 (Sp. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 1, 1964; 1973, No. 42, §§ 1, 2; 1987, No. 113, § 1, eff. June 26, 1987; 1987, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3,4; 1989, No. 51, §§ 51, 51a, eff. June 1, 1989, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 14, eff. May 31, 1990; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. May 7, 1992; 1993, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2-4; 1999, No. 49, § 60, eff. June 2, 1999; 2011, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 59-61, eff. May 15, 2012; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 198a; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. June 4, 2014; 2015, No. 57, § 88; 2015, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. May 25, 2016; 2015, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 2; 2019, No. 51, § 12; 2019, No. 71, § 7; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 296; 2019, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 17a, eff. March 1, 2022; 2021, No. 73, § 1, eff. Aug. 1, 2021; 2021, No. 73, § 2, eff. April 1, 2021.)

  • § 9203. Records; inspection

    Each operator shall keep such separate books or records of his or her business in such reasonable form as the Commissioner may from time to time require by regulation and shall safely preserve the same for three years in such manner as to ensure permanency and accessibility for inspection by the Commissioner and his or her authorized representatives. Such records shall be open for inspection by the Commissioner or his or her authorized representative at all reasonable times, and the Commissioner or his or her authorized representative may enter in or upon any premises where sleeping accommodations are rented or taxable meals are sold for the purpose of determining whether the provisions of this chapter are being obeyed and may examine the books, papers, records, and premises of any operator for the purpose of determining whether the taxes imposed by this chapter have been fully paid. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 19; amended 1975, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. date, see note below.)

  • § 9204. Repealed. 1987, No. 278 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. June 21, 1988.

  • § 9205. Repealed. 1963, No. 227, § 8.

  • § 9206. Notices

    Any notice required to be given by the Commissioner pursuant to this chapter to any person may be served personally, or by sending the same by mail to the person for whom it is intended, addressed to such person at the address given in the last report filed by him or her pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or, if no report has been filed, then to the address of his or her last known abode, or, in the case of other than an individual, to the last known business address. If notice is given by mail, the mailing of the notice shall be presumptive evidence of its receipt by the person to whom it is addressed. Any time period that is determined under this chapter by the giving of notice by mail shall commence to run from the date of mailing of the notice. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 15; amended 1979, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 31.)

  • § 9207. Repealed. 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 10(a), eff. May 7, 1992.


  • Subchapter 002: IMPOSITION AND COLLECTION OF TAX
  • § 9241. Imposition of tax

    (a) An operator shall collect a tax of nine percent of the rent of each occupancy.

    (b) An operator shall collect a tax on the sale of each taxable meal at the rate of nine percent of each full dollar of the total charge and on each sale for less than one dollar and on each part of a dollar in excess of a full dollar in accordance with the following formula:

                      $0.01-0.11                    $0.01

                       0.12-0.22                     0.02

                       0.23-0.33                     0.03

                       0.34-0.44                     0.04

                       0.45-0.55                     0.05

                       0.56-0.66                     0.06

                       0.67-0.77                     0.07

                       0.78-0.88                     0.08

                       0.89-1.00                     0.09

    (c) An operator shall collect a tax on each sale of alcoholic beverages at the rate of 10 percent of each full dollar of the total charge and on each sale for less than one dollar and on each part of a dollar in excess of a full dollar in accordance with the following formula:

                             $0.01-0.14                  $0.01

                              0.15-0.24                   0.02

                              0.25-0.34                   0.03

                              0.35-0.44                   0.04

                              0.45-0.54                   0.05

                              0.55-0.64                   0.06

                              0.65-0.74                   0.07

                              0.75-0.84                   0.08

                              0.85-0.94                   0.09

                              0.95-1.00                   0.10

     (Added 1959, No. 217, § 6; amended 1963, No. 227, § 2; 1967; 1963, No. 346 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 1, 1968; 1969, No. 144, § 16; 1983, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. June 1, 1984; 1989, No. 51; § 51b, eff. June 1, 1989; 1989, No. 210 (Adj. Sess.), § 294, eff. June 1, 1990; 1989, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 16, eff. May 31, 1990; 1991, No. 32, § 18, eff. June 1, 1991; 1991, No. 32, § 20, eff. July 1, 1993; 1997, No. 60, § 69.)

  • § 9242. Collection of meals and rooms tax by operator and imposition of gross receipts tax

    (a) Each operator shall state the amount of tax to each occupant and each purchaser of a taxable meal and alcoholic beverage, and shall charge the tax for each rental, meal, or beverage, and shall demand and collect the tax from such occupant or purchaser. The occupant or purchaser shall pay the tax to the operator and each operator shall be liable for the collection thereof.

    (b) No operator shall advertise or hold out or state to the public or to any consumer, directly or indirectly, that the tax or any part thereof will be assumed or absorbed by the operator, or that it will not be added to the price of taxable meals or beverages or the rent, or that, if added, it or any part thereof will be refunded. However, an operator may advertise the price of a taxable meal or beverage or the rent by stating the purchase price or rent charge with the words "plus tax," or "exclusive of tax," or "tax included." The operator shall maintain his or her records to show separately the charge for taxable meals, beverages, and rent and the amount of tax paid thereon, and the operator, if requested, shall furnish the purchaser or occupant with a statement of the charges made showing the tax separately computed thereof.

    (c) A tax of nine percent of the gross receipts from meals and occupancies and 10 percent of the gross receipts from alcoholic beverages, exclusive of taxes collected pursuant to section 9241 of this title, received from occupancy rentals, taxable meals, and alcoholic beverages by an operator, is hereby levied and imposed and shall be paid to the State by the operator as herein provided. Every person required to file a return under this chapter shall, at the time of filing the return, pay the Commissioner the taxes imposed by this chapter as well as all other monies collected by him or her under this chapter; provided, however, that every person who collects the taxes on taxable meals and alcoholic beverages according to the tax bracket schedules of section 9241 of this title shall be allowed to retain any amount lawfully collected by the person in excess of the tax imposed by this chapter as compensation for the keeping of prescribed records and the proper account and remitting of taxes. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 7; amended 1963, No. 227, § 3; 1964, No. 15 (Sp. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 1, 1964; 1967, No. 346 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 1, 1968; 1971, No. 73, § 34, eff. April 16, 1971; 1983, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 1, 1984; 1989, No. 51, § 51c, eff. June 1, 1989; 1989, No. 210 (Adj. Sess.), § 295, eff. June 1, 1990; 1989, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 31, 1990; 1991, No. 32, § 19, eff. June 1, 1991; 1991, No. 32, § 21, eff. July 1, 1993; 1997, No. 60, § 70.)

  • § 9243. Returns and payment

    (a) Where the meals and rooms tax liability under this chapter for the immediately preceding full calendar year has been, or would have been in cases when the business was not operating for the entire year, $500.00 or less, the gross receipts taxes imposed by this chapter shall be due and payable in quarterly installments on or before the 25th day of the calendar month succeeding the quarter ending the last day of March, June, September, and December of each year. In all other cases, the gross receipts tax imposed by this chapter shall be due and payable monthly on or before the 25th (23rd of February) day of the month following the month for which the tax is due. Pursuant to section 3110 of this title, the Commissioner may authorize payment of the tax due by electronic funds transfer. The Commissioner may require payment by electronic funds transfer from any taxpayer who is required by federal tax law to pay any federal tax in that manner or from any taxpayer who has submitted to the Department of Taxes two or more protested or otherwise uncollectible checks with regard to any State tax payment in the prior two years. Each operator shall make out and sign under the pains and penalties of perjury a return for each quarter or month. The return shall be filed with the Commissioner on a form prescribed by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall distribute return forms to the operators, upon request, but no operator shall be excused from liability for failure to file a return or pay the tax because he or she has failed to receive a form. A remittance for the amount of taxes shall accompany each quarterly or monthly return. Returns shall be made on forms provided by the Commissioner. Payment of taxes by electronic funds transfer does not affect the requirement to file returns.

    (b) The Commissioner may require returns and amended returns to be filed within 20 days after notice and to contain the information specified in the notice. Upon failure of a taxpayer to file any return required under this chapter within 20 days of the date of a notice to the taxpayer, the Commissioner may petition a judge of the Superior Court in the county wherein the taxpayer resides or has a place of business or, if the taxpayer neither resides nor has a place of business in this State, the Commissioner may petition the Washington Superior Court, and upon the petition of the Commissioner and a hearing, the judge shall issue a citation requiring the taxpayer and, if the taxpayer is a corporation, any principal officer of such corporation, to file a proper return in accordance with this chapter, upon pain of contempt. The order of notice upon the petition shall be returnable not later than 20 days after the filing of the petition. The petition shall be heard and determined on the return day or on such day thereafter as the court shall fix, having regard to the speediest possible determination of the case consistent with the rights of the parties. The judgment shall include costs in favor of the prevailing party. The Commissioner's authority to petition under this subsection is in addition to the Commissioner's authority under section 9273 of this title to compute the tax liability of a taxpayer who fails to file a required return or files an incorrect or insufficient return. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 8; amended 1963, No. 227, § 4; 1964, No. 15 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 1964; 1971, No. 73, § 35, eff. April 16, 1971; 1973, No. 42, § 3; 1975, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § 13, eff. April 1, 1976; 1989, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Feb. 8, 1990; 1989, No. 225 (Adj. Sess.), § 25(b); 1991, No. 67, § 7, eff. June 19, 1991; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(i), eff. May 7, 1992; 1997, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. April 29, 1998; 2007, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 25, eff. June 6, 2008; 2017, No. 73, § 5, eff. June 13, 2017; 2021, No. 73, § 7.)

  • § 9244. Optional dates; extensions

    The Commissioner may, upon written request and for good cause shown, authorize an operator whose books and records are not kept on a calendar month basis or whose hotel or establishment for the sale of taxable meals is operated only during certain seasons of the year to file returns at other times than those specified in section 9243 of this title and in lieu of such returns, but except in the case of seasonal hotels and eating establishments, no taxpayer shall be permitted to make less than four returns during a year. The Commissioner may, if he or she believes such action is necessary where collection of the tax may be in jeopardy, require an operator to file returns and pay taxes under this chapter at any time or from time to time. Except as to the time of filing and the period covered, all the provisions as to returns required by sections 9201, 9202, 9241-9243, 9271, and 9272 of this title shall be applicable to returns made under this section and a remittance for the tax due shall accompany any return filed under this section. The Commissioner may, on written application and for good cause shown, extend the time for making any return required by this chapter. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 9.)

  • § 9245. Overpayment; refunds

    Upon application by an operator, if the Commissioner determines that any tax, interest, or penalty has been paid more than once, or has been erroneously or illegally collected or computed, the same shall be credited by the Commissioner on any taxes then due from the operator under this chapter, and the balance shall be refunded to the operator or his or her successors, administrators, executors, or assigns, together with interest at the rate per annum established from time to time by the Commissioner pursuant to section 3108 of this title. That interest shall be computed from the latest of 45 days after the date the return was filed, 45 days after the date the return was due, including any extensions of time thereto, with respect to which the excess payment was made, or, if the taxpayer filed an amended return or otherwise requested a refund, 45 days after the date such amended return or request was filed. Provided, however, no such credit or refund shall be allowed after three years from the date the return was due. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 10; amended 1975, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. date, see note below; 1979, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 1983, No. 59, § 5, eff. April 22, 1983; 2015, No. 57, § 90, eff. June 11, 2015.)

  • § 9246. Repealed. 1963, No. 227, § 8.

  • § 9247. Hospital and medical service corporations and credit unions

    Notwithstanding 8 V.S.A. §§ 4518, 4590, and 30901, hospital service corporations, medical service corporations, and credit unions shall be subject to the meals and rooms tax. The statutory purpose of the remaining exemptions in 8 V.S.A. § 4518 is to lower the cost of health services to Vermonters. The statutory purpose of the remaining exemptions in 8 V.S.A. § 4590 is to lower the cost of health services to Vermonters. The statutory purpose of the remaining exemptions in 8 V.S.A. § 30901 is to affirm the nonprofit, cooperative structure of credit unions. (Added 2013, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 9248. Informational reporting

    The Department of Taxes may collect information on operators from persons providing an Internet platform for the short-term rental of property for occupancy in this State. The information collected shall include any information the Commissioner shall require, and the name, address, and terms of the rental transactions of persons acting as operators through the Internet platform. The failure to provide information as required under this section shall subject the person operating the Internet platform to a fine of $5.00 for each instance of failure. The Commissioner is authorized to adopt rules and procedures to implement this section. (Added 2015, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 21a, eff. July 1, 2017; amended 2019, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. Oct. 8, 2020.)


  • Subchapter 003: ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES
  • § 9271. Licenses required

    Each operator prior to commencing business shall register with the Commissioner each place of business within the State where he or she operates a hotel or sells taxable meals or alcoholic beverages; provided, however, that an operator who sells taxable meals through a vending machine shall not be required to hold a license for each individual machine, and a booking agent shall not be required to hold a separate license for each property the rental of which it facilitates. Upon receipt of an application in such form and containing such information as the Commissioner may require for the proper administration of this chapter, the Commissioner shall issue without charge a license for each such place in such form as he or she may determine, attesting that such registration has been made. No person shall engage in serving taxable meals or alcoholic beverages or renting hotel rooms without the license provided in this section. The license shall be nonassignable and nontransferable and shall be surrendered to the Commissioner if the business is sold or transferred or if the registrant ceases to do business at the place named. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 4; amended 1971, No. 73, § 36, eff. April 16, 1971; 1981, No. 11; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. May 7, 1992; 2015, No. 57, § 89; 2019, No. 71, § 8; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 297.)

  • § 9272. Suspension and revocation of licenses; appeal

    (a) The Commissioner may, after notice and hearing, suspend or revoke the license of any operator or may refuse to issue or renew any such registration for failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or with all pertinent rules and regulations of the Commissioner promulgated hereunder.

    (b) Any operator aggrieved by such suspension, revocation, or refusal may appeal therefrom to any Superior judge within 10 days after written notice of such suspension, revocation, or refusal has been mailed or delivered to him or her. Such Superior judge or another Superior judge designated by the administrative judge shall hear such appeal forthwith.

    (c) If such appealing operator files with the Superior judge to whom he or she appeals a bond running to the State with a surety company authorized to do business in this State as surety in such sum as the Superior judge shall fix, conditioned upon the payment of all taxes due under this chapter and to become due during the pendency of such appeal, then during the pendency of any such appeal to the Superior judge, the suspension or revocation so appealed from shall be inoperative.

    (d) In the case of an appeal from the refusal of the Commissioner to issue or renew a registration, the Commissioner shall issue or renew such registration during the pendency of the appeal if the aforesaid bond is given.

    (e) Upon suspension or revocation, or in case of an unlicensed business, the Commissioner may cause to be posted, at every public entrance of the operator's premises, a notice identifying the operator and the location and informing the public that the operator has no license or the license has been suspended or revoked, as the case may be, and that no rooms may be offered to the public for occupancy for a consideration or taxable meals or alcoholic beverages sold at that location as those terms are defined in this chapter. No person shall cover or deface the posted notice, and the posted notice shall not be removed until the license is reinstated or a new license issued for the location, or removal is otherwise authorized by the Commissioner. Whoever violates the terms of this subsection shall be assessed a penalty of $500.00. The Commissioner shall give notice of such assessment and make demand for payment. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 5; amended 1979, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 40, eff. May 7, 1992; 1995, No. 29, § 20, eff. April 14, 1995; 1997, No. 50, § 26, eff. June 26, 1997.)

  • § 9273. Assessment of additional tax

    (a) If any operator shall fail to make a return as herein required, the Commissioner may make an estimate of the tax liability of the operator from any information he or she may obtain and, according to such estimate so made by him or her, assess the taxes, interest, and penalty due the State from such person, give notice of such assessment to the person, and make demand upon him or her for payment.

    (b) After a return is filed under the provisions of this chapter, the Commissioner shall cause the same to be examined, and may make such further audits or investigation as he or she may deem necessary, and if he or she shall determine that there is a deficiency with respect to the payment of any tax due under this chapter, he or she shall assess the taxes and interest due the State, give notice of such assessment to the person liable, and make demand upon him or her for payment, but no such assessment shall be made after the later of three years from the date the return was filed or three years from the date the return was required to be filed, unless such return was fraudulent. When, before the expiration of the period prescribed herein for the assessment of an additional tax, a taxpayer has consented in writing that the period may be extended, the amount of the additional tax due may be determined at any time within the extended period. The period so extended may be further extended by subsequent consents in writing made before the expiration of the extended period. If the taxpayer has consented in writing to the extension of the period for assessment, the period for filing an application for credit or refund pursuant to section 9245 of this title shall likewise be extended for the same period of time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where an operator under-reports tax collected under this chapter by 20 percent or more, the Commissioner may assess such tax at any time before the expiration of six years from the date the return was filed.

    (c) If the Commissioner finds that an operator liable for a tax designs quickly to depart from this State, or to remove his property therefrom, or to conceal himself or herself or his or her property, or to discontinue business, or to do any other act tending to prejudice or to render wholly or partially ineffective proceedings to collect such tax, unless such proceedings be brought without delay, the Commissioner shall cause notice of such finding to be given such operator, together with a demand for an immediate return and immediate payment of such tax. If return and payment are not made upon demand, the Commissioner may make an estimate of the tax liability of such person from any information he or she may obtain and, according to such estimate, assess the taxes due the State from such person. The Commissioner shall give notice of said assessment and demand payment thereof, and such assessment shall be presumed to be correct, the burden showing otherwise being on the operator; thereupon, the tax shall become immediately due and payable. The Attorney General may at the same time, without delay, bring suit for the collection of the tax. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 11; amended 1971, No. 73, § 37, eff. April 16, 1971; 1975, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. date, see note below; 1989, No. 119, §§ 10, 12, 14, eff. June 22, 1989.)

  • § 9274. Petition for reconsideration

    Any operator against whom an assessment shall be made by the Commissioner under the provisions of subsection 9272(e) or section 9273 of this title, and any person aggrieved by the refusal of the Commissioner to make a refund requested under section 9245 of this title, may petition for a reconsideration within 60 days after notice shall have been given such person as provided in this chapter. If a petition for reconsideration is not filed within the 60-day period, the amount of the assessment or the refusal to refund becomes final at the expiration thereof as to law and fact. If a petition for a reconsideration is filed within the 60-day period, the Commissioner shall reconsider the assessment or the refusal and, if the petitioner so requested in his  or her petition, shall grant said petitioner an oral hearing and shall give the petitioner 10 days' notice of the time and places thereof. For a cause shown, the Commissioner may extend the time for filing such petition. If appeal is not taken as provided in section 9275 of this title, the assessment or the refusal to refund upon reconsideration becomes final as to law and fact at the expiration of the 60-day period therein allowed for taking of appeals. The remedies provided by this section and section 9275 of this title shall be the exclusive remedies of a taxpayer for contesting an assessment under sections 9272 and 9273 of this title and denial of a refund under section 9245 of this title. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 12; amended 1975, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. date, see note below; 1979, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 1989, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 36; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 42, eff. May 7, 1992.)

  • § 9275. Appeals

    Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner upon petition provided for in section 9274 of this title may, within 30 days after notice thereof from the Commissioner, appeal to the Superior Court of any county in which the person has a place of business subject to this chapter. Such appeals shall be preferred cases for hearing on the docket. The court may grant such relief as may be equitable and may order the State Treasurer to pay to the aggrieved taxpayer the amount of such relief with interest at the rate established pursuant to section 3108 of this title. Upon all such appeals that are denied, costs may be taxed against the appellant at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the State. (Added 1959, No. 271, § 13; amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. May 7, 1992; 1997, No. 50, § 27, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 2019, No. 51, § 13, eff. June 10, 2019.)

  • § 9276. Hearings

    (a) The Commissioner may conduct hearings, administer oaths to, and examine under oath any person, including the operator, relative to the business of the operator, in respect to any matter incident to the administration of this chapter. The provisions of this chapter shall also apply to any person who the Commissioner has reason to believe is liable for payment of the tax under this chapter.

    (b) The Commissioner shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of any books, records, papers, vouchers, accounts, or documents of any operator, or of any person the Commissioner has reason to believe is liable for the payment of the tax under this chapter, or of any person believed to have information pertinent to any matter under investigation by the Commissioner at any hearing held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The fees of witnesses required to attend any such hearing shall be the same as those allowed the witnesses appearing in the Superior Court, but no fees shall be payable to a witness charged with a meals and rooms tax liability. Such fees shall be paid in the manner provided for the payment of other expenses incident to the administration of this chapter.

    (c) Any examination under oath conducted by the Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, be reduced to writing and willful false testimony therein shall be deemed perjury and be punishable as such.

    (d) [Repealed.]  (Added 1959, No. 217, § 14; amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1983, No. 230 (Adj. Sess.) § 17(8).)

  • § 9277. Repealed. 1975, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.

  • § 9278. Repealed. 1997, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 37, eff. January 1, 1999.

  • § 9279. Violations

    (a) Failure to file; failure to collect; failure to remit. An operator who knowingly fails to file a return, fails to collect a tax, or fails to remit a tax required under this chapter shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

    (b) Failure to file; failure to collect; failure to remit in excess of $500.00. An operator who with intent to evade a tax liability fails to file a return, fails to collect a tax, or fails to remit a tax required under this chapter shall, if the amount collected or required to be collected is more than $500.00, be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

    (c) False or fraudulent return. An operator who knowingly makes, signs, verifies, or files with the Commissioner a false or fraudulent return shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. An operator who with intent to evade a tax liability makes, signs, verifies, or files with the Commissioner a false or fraudulent return shall, if the amount of tax evaded is more than $500.00, be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

    (d) Any operator who knowingly violates the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated by the Commissioner under this chapter relative to the tax on meals, alcoholic beverages, and rooms shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction for a first offense shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $250.00 or to be imprisoned for not more than 60 days, or both, such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court; and for a second or subsequent offense shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $250.00 or more than $500.00 or be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both, such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.

    (e) For the purpose of this section, every operator required to obtain a license under section 9271 of this title who is engaged in any business for which registration is required under section 9271 of this title without being the holder of a currently valid registration license shall commit a separate offense for each calendar week or part thereof during which he or she shall be so engaged. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 18; amended 1963, No. 227, § 5; 1987, No. 48, § 10; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. May 7, 1992.)

  • § 9280. Taxes as personal debt to State; action to collect taxes; limitations

    (a) Any operator who fails to collect the required tax or to pay it to the Commissioner as required under this chapter shall be personally and individually liable for the amount of such tax together with such interest and penalty as has accrued under the provisions of section 3202 of this title, and if the operator is a corporation or other entity, the personal liability shall extend and be applicable to any officer or agent of the corporation or entity who, as an officer or agent of the same, is under a duty to collect the tax and transmit the tax to the Commissioner as required in this chapter.

    (b) Any sum or sums collected in accordance with this chapter shall be deemed to be held by the person in trust for the State of Vermont. Such sums shall be recorded by such person in a ledger account so as clearly to indicate the amount of tax collected and that the same are the property of the State of Vermont.

    (c) Action may be brought by the Attorney General at the instance of the Commissioner in the name of the State to recover the amount of taxes, penalties, and interest due from any person responsible for the same under this chapter, provided such action is brought within six years after the same are due or six years after the date the liability becomes final, whichever is later. Such action shall be returnable to the county where the person resides or has a place of business, and if the person is a nonresident with no place of business in the State, the action shall be returnable to Washington County. The limitation of six years in this section shall not apply to a suit to collect taxes, penalties, interest, and costs when the person filed a fraudulent return or failed to file a return when the same was due.

    (d) As an additional or alternate remedy, the Commissioner may issue a warrant directed to the sheriff of any county commanding him or her to levy upon and sell the real and personal property of any person liable for the tax, which may be found within his or her county, for the payment of the amount thereof, with any penalties and interest, and the cost of executing the warrant, and to return the warrant to the Commissioner and to pay to him or her the money collected by virtue thereof within 60 days after the receipt of the warrant. The sheriff shall, within five business days after the receipt of the warrant, file with the county clerk a copy thereof, and thereupon the clerk shall enter in the judgment docket the name of the person mentioned in the warrant, and the amount of the tax, penalties, and interest for which the warrant is issued, and the date when the copy is filed. Thereupon, the amount of the warrant so docketed shall become a lien upon the title to and interest in real and personal property of the person against whom the warrant is issued. The sheriff shall then proceed upon the warrant in the same manner and with like effect as that provided by law in respect to executions issued against property upon judgments of a court of record, and for services in executing the warrant he or she shall be entitled to the same fees, which he or she may collect in the same manner. If a warrant is returned not satisfied in full, the Commissioner may from time to time issue new warrants and shall also have the same remedies to enforce the amount due thereunder as if the State had recovered judgment therefor and execution thereon had been returned unsatisfied. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 21; amended 1963, No. 227, § 6; 1975, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 14, eff. after June 30, 1976; 1991, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 7, 1992; 1997, No. 50, § 28, eff. June 26, 1997; 1999, No. 49, § 61, eff. June 2, 1999; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 54, eff. March 1, 2004; 2017, No. 11, § 62.)

  • § 9281. Taxes as property lien

    If any operator required to pay and transmit a tax under this chapter neglects or refuses to pay the same after demand, the amount, together with all penalties and interest provided for in this chapter and together with any costs that may accrue in addition thereto, shall be a lien in favor of the State of Vermont upon all property and rights to property, whether real or personal, belonging to such operator. Such lien shall arise at the time demand is made by the Commissioner of Taxes and shall continue until the liability for such sum with interest and costs is satisfied or becomes unenforceable. Such lien shall have the same force and effect as the lien for taxes withheld under the withholding provisions of the Vermont income tax law, as provided under section 5895 of this title, and notice of such lien shall be recorded as is provided in that section. Certificates of release of such lien shall also be given by the Commissioner as in the case of the aforesaid tax liens. (Added 1959, No. 217, § 22; amended 1963, No. 227, § 7.)

  • § 9282. Short-term rental operators

    (a) A short-term rental operator shall post the corresponding meals and rooms tax account number on any advertisement for the short-term rental.

    (b) The Department shall disseminate the information packet prepared by the Department of Health pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 4468 to a short-term rental operator when the operator first registers a unit. The operator of a unit registered prior to July 1, 2018 shall receive an information packet from the Department prior to July 1, 2019. (Added 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 2.)