The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts ("Comptroller") issued guidance on the taxability of sales of design plans by an architectural firm.
The firm sold design plans. The plans were stock plans and were available to all customers. The firm also updated the plans for code compliance and made site-specific changes.
The Comptroller determined that sales of stock plans were taxable sales of tangible personal property. Any services (e.g., file conversion, printing, shipping) provided along with the sales of the plans were included in the taxable sales price of the plans.
If the firm modified plans in a way that used engineering, architectural, or draftsman skills to develop something original, the modified plans were not taxable. In this scenario, the firm was selling nontaxable professional services, not just plans. However, if the firm made changes merely to fit the specifications of the purchaser, the sales of the plans were still taxable as sales of tangible personal property.