Despite the unusual wording of the revised statute, the Department stops short of interpreting this to mean that maintenance is now considered tangible personal property, but specifies that any and all support services (for canned software) are subject to sales and use tax when sold at retail (charges for subsequent use of services are also taxable if their initial purchase was a taxable retail sale). This covers all types of technical support, including consulting, training, and even "support" provided via tangible media. The letter ruling does not go into detail, but presumably this would extend to charges for user manuals or instruction booklets taxed as support rather than simply as tangible personal property.
The taxation of computer software maintenance is not unusual, and computer consulting services were previously taxable in Pennsylvania,3 but the method of defining maintenance as tangible personal property makes this a unique application of sales and use tax.
1 L.R. No. SUT-17-001, Pennsylvania Dept. of Rev., Feb. 9, 2017.
2 72 Pa. Stat. section 7201(m)(2).
3 61 Pa. Code section 9.3(a)(11).
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