Trapeze Artist Selling Admissions Must Collect and Remit New York Sales Tax

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

New York

The New York Commissioner of Taxation and Finance recently issued an advisory opinion requiring a trapeze artist to collect and remit sales tax on performances where the artist performs directly for the public and charges admissions. N.Y. Advisory Op. of the Commr. of Taxn. & Fin. TSB-A-13(7)S (Feb. 25, 2013).

The trapeze artist requested an opinion on the taxability of multiple circumstances. Most of them involved the trapeze artist being hired as an independent contractor, in various forms, where trapeze artist would not be directly collecting admissions from the public. The Commissioner determined that, in those independent contractor situations, the trapeze artist performs a non-taxable service. However, the Commissioner found that the tax imposed on "admission charges to places of amusement," would apply when the trapeze artist was directly performing for the public and directly charging admissions.

The Commissioner concluded that the aerial trapeze performance did not qualify for either of the exemptions for admissions related to dramatic and musical arts performances, or for the admissions exemption related to the circus. In the Commissioner's view, both admissions exemptions applied to particular types of entertainment, neither of which applied to the trapeze artist.

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