Idaho State Tax Commission

Idaho State Tax Commission

Amusement Devices

If you own or operate an amusement device in Idaho, you must:

  • Get an amusement device permit and a decal for each device in use
  • Attach a decal to each device
  • Renew decals and pay a fee each year. Otherwise, your permit may be cancelled.

Some examples of amusement devices are: machines that play games, pool tables, jukeboxes, and devices that let you watch videos. They can also be crane, rotary, or pusher machines. Users can play the machine after entering money, debit cards, credit cards, tokens, or prepaid cards from the owner.

Amusement devices versus vending machines

If the purpose of the machine is to provide entertainment, it's an amusement device. The user can't be guaranteed a physical prize. But if the purpose of the machine is to provide the user with something physical (tangible personal property), it's a vending machine. Read more about vending machines.

Get an amusement device permit and a decal for each device

Use Form 2, Application for Amusement Device Permit, to apply for a permit. You can order your decals at the same time; the charge is $42 per device. We'll send the decals to you within 4 weeks. They're good until June 30. (Decals can't be prorated for part-year periods.)

Attach a decal to each device

You must attach a decal to every device in a place where a person can easily see it. Put the name and address of the business that owns the device on the decal. Type or print so that this information can be easily read.

  • Lose a decal? If a decal is missing from a device that's in service, you must replace it immediately, even if it's stolen or destroyed. Contact us to get a form for a new decal. A new decal will cost $42.
  • Device have multiple monitors or players? If so, you must have a decal for each monitor that allows a person to play independently.
  • Transfer decal from one device to another? You can move a decal from a device that's out of service to another device that's in service. You must be the account owner of both devices.
  • Add a device during the year? If you don't have a decal, you'll need to buy one at full price. We can't prorate the decal price, even if the device is used for only part of a year.
  • Transfer decal to another person? If you want to transfer a decal to another owner, you must write to us with the details. Wait until you hear back from us before you transfer any decal.
  • Use tablets in your restaurant? If your customers can only look at the menu, order, and pay their bill from a tablet, it isn't an amusement device. If they can also play games that require payment, it's an amusement device and must have a decal.

Renew decals and pay a fee each year

You must buy decals by July 1 each year. We'll mail you a form with your account information on it. It's called Form 3550, Annual Amusement Device Decal Request. You need to fill it out and return it prior to July 1.

If you can't find a copy of the form we mailed you, contact us and we'll mail you one.

If a device is in service and doesn't have a current decal displayed, you'll be charged a $50 penalty. If you don't have a current decal available, then you will also need to pay $42 for a new decal.

Don't charge your customers tax to use the amusement devices

The people using your amusement device don't need to pay sales tax. This is because you, the owner or operator of the device, paid for a decal for each device.

You don't have to get a sales tax permit unless your business also makes retail sales. If so, you can apply for a sales tax permit online.

Paying sales tax when you buy, sell, or lease amusement devices

  • Exempt amusement devices

    Devices that accept only legal money and only dispense a taxable product are exempt from sales tax. This means the devices can accept only coins, bills, debit cards, or credit cards.
  • Taxable amusement devices

    You must pay sales tax on devices that use tokens or prepaid card readers (such as those reloadable with credits that can be redeemed to make a purchase), even if they also accept coins, bills, and debit or credit cards.

Note: If buy a device that is not set up to accept only legal money or if you change a device to accept only legal money after you buy it, the device is taxable; you can't get a sales tax refund on the purchase.

Buying repair parts and supplies for your amusement devices

You must pay sales tax on repair parts and supplies for all amusement devices, even if the device itself wasn't taxed when you bought it. This includes parts used to refurbish or upgrade devices.

Buying prizes for your amusement devices

You must pay sales tax on prizes awarded for playing a game on the devices.

Example: A player gets tickets, points, or credits for playing. The player can exchange these for a prize or product. You must pay sales tax when buying the prize or product.

Laws and rules

Learn more about amusement devices.

Laws and rules are housed on an external website.

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Page last updated Nov. 16, 2017. Last full review of page: Nov. 16, 2017.