The Georgia Department of Revenue recently released a letter ruling on the taxability of calligraphy services.
The taxpayer provided hand calligraphy services. Customers supplied envelopes for the taxpayer to address by hand, using a dip pen and ink to create stylized lettering. The taxpayer paid tax on supplies such as ink, pens, and paper stock.
Georgia taxes sales of tangible personal property. Sales include the fabrication of tangible personal property for consumers who furnish the materials used in the fabrication. "Fabrication" is an operation that changes the form or state of property. Tax applies to charges for materials, labor, and services on a taxable fabrication.
The Department ruled that the taxpayer's calligraphy services were fabrication services. Custom printing was fabrication when it used computers and mechanical processes. Calligraphy was a manual form of custom printing and was thus taxable. The taxpayer could purchase ink and paper tax-free as purchases for resale. The taxpayer's charges for calligraphy services, however, were subject to tax.