Tax Manuals

The information provided in the Department’s tax manuals is general in nature. The opinions expressed in the manuals are informal and do not constitute a revenue or letter ruling pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated § 67-1-109. Future amendments, court decisions, regulation changes, or other factors could change the opinions expressed in the manuals.

The Department updates its tax manuals in June and December of each year to clarify existing guidance, provide additional guidance, or address law changes resulting from new legislation or litigation. In order to provide guidance in the interim periods, the Department will regularly update this section with information that will be included in upcoming manuals. And like the guidance contained in the manuals, the information contained in this section constitutes “published guidance,” as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-1-108.

Upcoming Updates to the Tax Manuals

Please find below, a brief overview of upcoming substantive updates the Department will make to various tax manuals in December of 2023.  Changes may not be made to every manual, only those included below:

Alcohol Tax Manual

  • To-Go Alcohol Sales:  Pages 56-57 of the Alcohol Tax Manual will be updated to remove the section on to-go alcohol sales.  Public Chapter 451 (2021) allowed properly licensed restaurants, limited service restaurants, or wine-only restaurants to offer to-go alcoholic beverages and beer for consumption off the premises under certain circumstances.  This law has been repealed, effective July 1, 2023. 

Business Tax Manual

  • Wholesaler-to-wholesaler sales: Pages 63-64 of the Business Tax Manual will be updated to address Eisai, Inc. v. Gerregano, 2023 WL 2193450 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2023). This case dealt with whether Business Tax Rule 20 applied to a pharmaceutical manufacturer that sells to specialized distributors who then sell to hospital pharmacies and clinics. The pharmaceuticals are then used by medical professionals to treat patients. The Court of Appeals held that the patient, not the medical professional, is the end-user of the pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the manufacturer’s sales to the distributors are exempt wholesaler-to-wholesaler sales.

Farmers, Nursery Operators, and Timber Harvesters Manual

  • Agricultural Exemption Certificate Renewal: Page 10 of the Farmers, Nursery Operators, and Timber Harvesters Manual will be updated to include information on the new exemption renewal process. Certificate holders must now verify every four years that they qualify for the exemption before the Department will issue an updated exemption certificate. The Department will mail the renewed certificate after the taxpayer verifies that they still qualify for exemption.

Overview of Recent Updates to the Tax Manuals

Click here for an overview of current updates to the Department of Revenue's tax manuals.  Updates are predominately based on changes in Tennessee law pursuant to the legislative session, as well as opportunities for improved clarity or expanded guidance.