Sales Tax Slice: Summer Tax Hike Is No Concert in the Park


Concerts, amusement parks or sporting events are popular ways to spend time with the family during the summer months, but ticket prices seem to rise a bit more each year. Tack on an additional amount for sales tax—depending on the state, and some people may opt to stay at home and find a more creative way to pass time this summer.

Four days after the official start of summer, the North Carolina Department of Revenue released an Important Notice reminding its residents that effective May 29, 2014, admission charges to entertainment activities are subject to sales and use tax.  “Entertainment activities” include live performances, movies, museums, exhibits or guided tours.  

The department explains in the release that an admission charge includes a single ticket, multi-occasion ticket, season pass, annual pass or membership fee that provides for admission. However, amounts paid to participate in sporting activities including bowling, golf green fees or gym memberships are excluded from tax.

States like Connecticut and South Carolina, on the other hand, have passed legislation that will help some of it residents keep money in their wallets this summer. Although it generally requires sales tax to be charged on admissions, effective July 1, Connecticut passed legislation (H.B. 5597) that exempts from tax admissions to events held at the Webster Bank Arena, a large venue in Bridgeport that houses many concerts and sporting events. South Carolina does not apply sales and use tax on admissions, but instead charges a separate admissions tax to places of amusement. However, residents looking to explore the State Museum will not have to pay tax on an admission ticket, effective July 1 (S.B. 474).

 Here's a look at a few other popular summer destination states' stance on admission charges (some specific exemptions may apply):

  • California- No, admission charges are not subject to tax. 
  • Flordia- Yes, admission charges are subject to tax. 
  • New York- Yes, admission charges are subject to tax.
  • Pennsylvania- No, admission charges are not subject to tax.
  • Texas- Yes, admission charges are subject to tax.
  • Illinois- No, admission charges are not subject to tax. 
  • New Jersey- Yes, admission charges are subject to tax. 
  • Michigan- No, admission charges are not subject to tax. 
  • Maryland- No, admission charges are not subject to tax.  

 

Continue the discussion on Bloomberg BNA’s State Tax Group onLinkedIn: Do you think sales tax on admission charges in North Carolina, or any other state will keep people at home this summer?

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