Are wigs exempt from sales and use tax as prosthetic devices?

Sales of wigs are subject to sales and use tax in Tennessee. Wigs or hair pieces purchased in connection with medical treatment do not qualify as exempt prosthetics devices.

A prosthetic device is defined as a replacement, corrective, or supportive device including repair and replacement parts for the replacement, corrective, or supportive device worn on or in the body to:

  • Artificially replace a missing portion of the body;
  • Prevent or correct physical deformity or malfunction; or
  • Support a weak or deformed portion of the body.

A device is commonly defined as “a piece of equipment or a mechanism designed to serve a special purpose or perform a special function.” A wig is not a device as it is not a piece of equipment nor is it a mechanism. A wig serves an aesthetic purpose.

Examples of exempt prosthetic devices include:

  • Artificial arms and legs;
  • Necessary items worn to wear an artificial limb;
  • Hearing aids;
  • Dental prostheses; and
  • Insulin pumps.

Reference: Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 67-6-102 (76) and 67-6-314. Device, (2021), https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/device (last visited Feb 4, 2021).

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