Recreation and Admissions Basics Guide

Do you charge admission to a place or event? Do you charge for using, or privilege of using, recreational equipment, meeting rooms or facilities? This guide can help you understand sales tax requirements for your business as they relate to recreation and admissions in Idaho.


Recreation is defined* as the “refreshment in body or mind, as after work, by some form of play, amusement or relaxation or any form of play, amusement, or relaxation used for this purpose such as games, sports, or hobbies.”

Consider the following when determining the taxability of a recreational activity:


  • Charges for the use of a facility for recreational purposes
    • Example: Charges to use a swimming pool
  • Charges to participate in a recreational program or event
    • Example: Charges to participate in sports leagues

Not Taxable

  • Separately stated charges for instruction
    • Example: Instructional fees for jazzercise, aerobics, dance, and swimming aren’t taxable when they’re separately stated from the facility and participation fee. 

NOTE: Monitoring activities, such as a lifeguard at a swimming pool, aren’t considered instruction.

* Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition, Ed. Michael Agnes, New York: Macmillan USA, 1999.