DRS: Ruling 94-17, Sales and Use Taxes / Business Management Services / Personnel Training Services / Services by Employment Agencies

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES

450 Columbus Blvd
Hartford CT 06103
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Ruling 94-17

Sales and Use Taxes
Business Management Services
Personnel Training Services
Services by Employment Agencies


FACTS:

A company (hereinafter "the Company") offers "outplacement services" to displaced employees of its clients' businesses. The Company enters into contracts whereby it sells its services to businesses which are in the process of terminating or have terminated either executives or middle-level managers (hereinafter "terminated employees"). Under those contracts, the Company is entitled to a fee for each terminated employee it counsels, payable by the former employer and in the same fixed amount, whether or not the terminated employee is successful at finding a new position.

The "outplacement services" involve counseling the terminated employee to determine that individual's goals; assessing the terminated employee's career interests and creating a personality profile, evaluating the terminated employee's experience, capabilities, career interests leading to the development of a career profile; educating the terminated employee as to interviewing and negotiation skills; developing a personalized job search plan; providing the terminated employee with the use of office space, the cost of all mailings, assistance with salary negotiations and job selection. The fee which the Company charges for these services is paid by the former employer; there are no costs borne by the terminated employee. The Company does not provide any career leads or job openings. The Company does not receive any additional compensation if the terminated employee obtains a new position.


ISSUE:

Whether "outplacement services" involving the counseling of the terminated employees of client companies constitute "personnel training services" which are subject to sales and use taxes as "business management consulting services" under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(J) and Conn. Agencies Regs. 12-407(2)(i)(J)-1(f) and (i)(1).

Whether the "outplacement services" involving the counseling of the terminated employees of client companies constitute "services by employment agencies" under Conn Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(C).


DISCUSSION:

Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(J) defines "sale" and "selling" to include "business analysis, management, management consulting and public relations services." "Business management consulting services" are defined by Conn. Agencies Regs. 12-407(2)(i)(J)-1(f) as "the furnishing of advice and assistance on matters pertaining to the management of core business activities ... or human resource management activities ..." "Core business activities" are defined in Conn. Agencies Regs. 12-407(2)(i)(J)-1(h) as "activities directly related to a service recipient's lines of business involving sales of products, property, goods or services to others ...."

In Policy Statement PS 92(2.1), the Department defined "personnel training" as being a part of "consulting services" under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(J)-1(f) or "human resource management services" under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(J)-1(i). However, as the regulation and PS 92(2.1) make apparent, in order for a training service to be considered "personnel training," the "job related training" cannot include training provided to an employee unless it is directly related to teaching, maintaining, upgrading or improving the specific skills required in the employee's day to day job performance for the employee's current employer. The "outplacement services" being provided by the Company do not relate to the improvement of specific skills required in the terminated employee's job performance for its current employer, as most of these terminated employees no longer have "current" employers. Nor does the service being provided relate to the terminated employee's former or present job functions. It only relates to aiding the terminated employee in finding new employment. Furthermore, the "outplacement services" do not relate to the clients' "human resource management activities" as defined in subsection (i) of the regulation, since all of those activities relate to active employees, not terminated employees. Therefore, the "outplacement services" being provided are not "personnel training" and are thus not "business management consulting" or "human resource management activities."

Whether the "outplacement services" are "services provided by employment agencies" pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(C) depends upon whether such services fall within the definition of "employment services" under Conn. Agencies Regs. 12-426-27(b)(3)(b): the procurement or offer to procure for a consideration: Jobs or positions for those seeking employment; or employees for employers seeking the services of employees.

See also PS 93(3.1), pp. 1-2.

Here, the "outplacement services" consist of counseling the terminated employee in order to assist that terminated employee in the employee's own employment search process. The services do not involve the procurement of jobs or positions for a consideration. Therefore, these services cannot be considered taxable services by employment agencies under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(C) and Conn. Agencies Regs. 12-426-27(b)(3).


RULING:

"Outplacement services" involving the counseling of the terminated employees of client companies do not constitute "personnel training services" which are taxable as "business management services" under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(J).

"Outplacement services" involving the counseling of the terminated employees of client companies do not constitute taxable "services by employment agencies" under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-407(2)(i)(C).


LEGAL DIVISION

SEPTEMBER 6, 1994