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MA Sales tax on powerwalls: Don’t pay it! Get a refund if you did.

Tesla has been erroneously charging sales tax in MA for the powerwall portion of solar systems. @TORQU3 and I have found that the state considers powerwalls part of the solar system and therefore exempt from sales tax. If you’ve paid sales tax on your MA solar system you should contact Tesla for a refund. If you are getting a system installed in the future, make sure there is no MA sales tax added. I just got my sales tax refund.
 

jlv1

Twice as much fun
Oct 14, 2015
561
545
Central MA
Thanks for the heads up! I checked my receipt from last year - no sales tax was added to my payment.

1617032180184.png
 
Tesla has been erroneously charging sales tax in MA for the powerwall portion of solar systems. @TORQU3 and I have found that the state considers powerwalls part of the solar system and therefore exempt from sales tax. If you’ve paid sales tax on your MA solar system you should contact Tesla for a refund. If you are getting a system installed in the future, make sure there is no MA sales tax added. I just got my sales tax refund.
Hi

Could you tell me how you determined this? I haven't seen anything specific to battery systems, just solar generation. Is it the coupling with the solar system that makes the state consider it solar generation?
 
The short answer is yes, powerwalls coupled to the solar system makes it solar generation. @TORQU3 started the ball rolling on fighting the tax and had made some calls to the DOR to verify that the tax shouldn't be charged. His situation was before he paid, mine was after I paid. I also had conversations with the DOR to find out how to get a refund. Since it was already paid, I had to get Tesla to refund it, which they eventually did. Powerwalls installed as a part of a solar system are sales tax exempt in MA.
 
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So i was finally able to get a refund of the $1125 that Tesla charged me as sales tax on the 3 powerwalls. the State DOR confirmed that there should be no tax on powerwalls installed as a part of a solar system, but can do nothing to refund the tax as Tesla is the taxpayer in this case. I contacted Tesla explaining the problem. First I got crickets, then I got a “we are looking into it” email. The next email said sorry, we can’t refund that. After I sent another “powerwalls are not taxable according to the state DOR” email, they escalated it and came back with, sign these forms and we will refund you in the manner you paid. One form was a copy of the original purchase agreement with the tax removed. The other form was a MA state tax exemption form with the “solar system” box checked. I got my credit card refund a couple of days later (today).

Bottom line: if you’ve paid sales tax in MA to Tesla, ask for a refund and don’t take no for an answer. If you haven’t paid yet, get it adjusted before you do.

Thanks @TORQU3 for pointing this out.

my previous message from another thread about this.
 
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