Sales a Nonprofit Makes

Nonprofit groups that make taxable sales are retailers. They must get an Idaho sales tax permit and collect and forward tax to the state. If a nonprofit has one-time or infrequent sales, it can get a temporary permit.

Taxable Sales

  • Gift shop sales (even if admission to the event or facility is tax exempt)
  • Admissions to recreational events (e.g., concerts at a botanical garden or a play put on by a synagogue)
  • Fundraising sales, door-to-door sales (e.g., cookies, candy, magazine subscriptions)
  • Concessions
  • Providing hotel, motel or campground accommodations to the public
  • Leasing or renting tangible personal property
  • Rummage or yard sales open to the public (the “home yard sales for individuals” exemption doesn’t apply to organizations)
  • Promotional items (e.g., logo patches, pins, printed materials)
  • Vending machine sales (see Vending Machines)

Nontaxable sales

  • A nonprofit’s membership
  • Charges for advertising space in publications (note: advertising inserts are taxable)
  • Car washes
  • Sales of raffle tickets
    Note: Some operators of raffles and games of chance must get a license from the Idaho Lottery.
  • Conference fees for educational, professional or religious events
  • Meals nonprofit or religious groups sell to senior citizens through programs under Title III-C of the Older Americans Act
  • Meals a church or temple sells at a members-only event
  • Incidental sales a religious organization makes
    • Items it sells must have been donated to the organization, or the organization must have paid tax when it bought the items.
    • The sale must not be made to the general public in competition with commercial businesses.
    • Proceeds of the sale must be used exclusively in the organization’s programs.
      Note: This exemption includes sales of property, admissions, taxable services, and providing hotel/campground accommodations.
  • Sales of literature when the nonprofit organization both publishes and sells it. None of the profits can go to an individual or shareholder of the organization.
  • Admissions
    • To nonprofit museums
    • To an event hosted by a 501(c)(3) or an organization conducting a tax-exempt function as defined in section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code that is not predominantly commercial or recreational, any included entertainment value is minimal when compared to the charge for attendance, and the hosting nonprofit has paid sales tax on property consumed during the event
  • Animals a 4-H or FFA club sell at a fair or the Western Idaho Spring Lamb Sale
  • Lodging sales the Ronald McDonald House makes
  • Sales of digital subscriptions
  • Fees to use a nonprofit’s shooting range facility or enter a nonprofit organization’s shooting competition

Sales that can be taxable or exempt

Suggested donations for admissions or sales

  • If a sign or other advertising says something like “donations accepted” with no amount mentioned and people can attend or buy something without paying, it’s a donation and you don’t have to charge tax.
  • When you establish or suggest a price for what you sell, you must charge tax. This is true even if you call it a “donation.”
    E.g., If a sign or other advertising says “$5 donation suggested,” all donations are taxable, whether they’re $1 or $50.

Auction items – fundraising events

  • Fundraising auctions differ from normal auctions when there is a donation component.
  • Although the amount of cash donation isn’t taxable, the sale of goods is. For this reason, it’s necessary to determine the portion of the sale that’s a cash donation.
  • An auction item for a fundraising event is subject to tax on its final bidding price unless you follow these procedures:
    1. Post the fair market value by the item you’re auctioning.
    2. Give the buyer an invoice that details the value, tax due on the value, and amount paid.

Note: If you hire a professional auctioneering service, the auctioneer will collect tax on the actual selling price, which includes fees (such as a buyer’s fees, credit card service fees, etc.). If you only hire an auctioneer caller, you are responsible for collecting sales tax.

Showing sales tax on receipts

As a retailer, you must separately list the amount of tax on the sales invoice. Businesses that want sales to be an even-dollar amount still must separately state the tax.

  • If you don’t separately state the tax, you must charge tax on the whole-dollar amount.
  • Sometimes businesses with high-volume or even-dollar sales don’t automatically give receipts. But you must give customers a receipt if they ask for it. A receipt showing the amount of tax you charged is the only proof they have to show they properly paid sales tax.