Taxable sales include:
- Fees paid to gain admission to a place or event.
- Fees paid to use, or to have the privilege of using, tangible personal property or facilities for recreation. Tangible personal property is property that you can feel or touch and that isn’t “real property” (e.g., real estate).
- Axe throwing fees
- Escape room fees
- Greens fees to a golf course
- Membership or initiation fees paid before using the facility
- Bowling fees
- Outfitter and guide fees
- Miniature golf course fees
- Fees paid to fitness and health clubs, racquet clubs
- Charges for using a suntan booth, flotation chambers, deprivation chambers
- Renting a facility to someone for a recreational activity (unless admission will be charged)
Fees paid to participate in recreational activities
Fees paid to participate in recreation activities are generally taxable.
- Sports leagues
- Youth sport camps
- Bowling tournaments
- Fishing derbies
- Amateur sporting events (e.g., amateur auto racing and golf tournaments); see Tournaments and events
Admissions charges are generally taxable.
- Movie tickets
- Nightclub cover charges
- Charges for reserved seats
- Minimum drink charges paid to a nightclub
- Convenience fees
- Admission charges to sports or entertainment events (e.g., club, school or professional basketball games; race car events; club, school or professional plays or drama performances; and music concerts)
- Season tickets to sports or entertainment events
- Lifetime admissions to sports or entertainment events
- Student activity tickets or cards that allow for free or reduced-price admissions to sports or other events
Charging a whole-dollar amount
You must separately state the tax on the receipt, invoice or ticket you give to your customer, even if you want to charge a whole-dollar amount for the price of admission, plus tax.
- If you suggest a price for an admission, even if you call it a donation, you must collect sales tax.
- If you don’t set or suggest a price (or donation) and admission is allowed, don’t collect sales tax.
If the sign instead read “admission free – donations accepted,” you wouldn’t charge sales tax because you didn’t set or suggest an admission price.
Admissions that nonprofit groups charge
You don’t need to collect sales tax on sale of admissions if you’re an organization conducting an exempt function as defined in section 527 or nonprofit organization registered as a 501(c)(3) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and all of these are true:
- The event is not predominantly recreational or commercial.
- Any included entertainment value is minimal when compared to the price for attendance.
- Your nonprofit organization paid sales or use tax on taxable property or services used during the event.
See Nonprofit and Religious Groups for additional information.
Fees for instruction
Instruction fees for swimming, jazzercise, dance, yoga, karate or tennis lessons aren’t taxable if you separately state the instruction fees from the facility fee.
The whole fee is taxable if you don’t separately state the instruction fees from the facility fee on a sales receipt.