Broadcasting Software is Exempt from Tax in South Carolina

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued a private letter ruling explaining that broadcast software sold to radio, television, and cable television stations is exempt from sales tax. S.C. Priv. Ltr. Rul. No. 12-1 (Dept. of Revenue Mar. 29, 2012).

The business that requested the ruling sells broadcasting transmitters, hardware, and broadcasting software. Purchasers generally receive the broadcasting software via electronic delivery, but the seller also may transfer it in a tangible format such as a disk drive or tape. The seller wanted to know whether the broadcasting software it sells and delivers in either of these formats is exempt from tax.

South Carolina generally taxes sales of canned software delivered in a tangible format, while canned software delivered electronically is not subject to sales tax. Also, South Carolina provides a specific exemption for broadcasting equipment that extends to broadcasting software. Specifically, this exemption provides that "supplies, technical equipment, machinery, and electricity sold to radio and television stations, and cable television systems, for use in producing, broadcasting, or distributing programs," are exempt from tax. S.C. Code Ann. sec. 12-36-2120(26). Thus, broadcasting software that is electronically delivered is not taxable. Furthermore, when broadcasting software is delivered in a tangible format, the DOR has concluded that for tax purposes, it will be considered to be part of an exempt machine--the server that is in charge of scheduling and initiating programming that is to air on the network. Therefore, broadcast software is exempt whether it is delivered to the customer electronically or in a tangible format.

About TTR

Transaction (buying or selling things), Tax (the tax on this activity), Resources (our people, our website, our support services) - TTR, Inc.

TTR has a website that companies subscribe to and use daily. This website provides a list of everything that can be bought or sold in the U.S. It provides simple answers to whether buying or selling these items is taxable (subject to a sales tax or other tax), and it provides all the legal authority to support these tax answers.

TTR likes to keep things simple and fun, which is why it has great people who provide help to clients on any support questions they have about transaction tax issues.

Please visit TTR on the web at or call 866.578.8193.

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