Skydiving Services Taxable as Amusement and Recreation Services in Washington

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013


The Washington Department of Revenue held that a taxpayer's provision of skydiving services was taxable.

A taxpayer provided parachute services, training, and equipment for skydivers. Skydivers paid "upjumper" fees to board the taxpayer's planes, jump, and land. Taxpayer provided extra training at no additional cost.

Washington taxes receipts from amusement and recreation services, including bungee jumping and skiing. Washington assessed tax on skydiving receipts as receipts from an amusement or recreation service. The taxpayer argued that federal law prevented Washington from taxing its skydiving services. Federal law prohibits states from taxing the transportation of an individual traveling in air commerce. "Air commerce" means "interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce or ... any operation or navigation of aircraft within the limits of any Federal airway or any operation or navigation of aircraft which directly affects, or which may endanger safety in, interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce." The taxpayer argued that it charged for transportation on the taxpayer's planes, making the transaction a sale of transportation in air commerce.

The Department held that the taxpayer's services were not "transportation" in air commerce. The essence of the service was skydiving, which is not transportation. Skydivers paid the taxpayer "for the thrill of going down, not the ride up." Skydiving services, therefore, were taxable amusement and recreation services.

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.

Hot-Air Balloon Rides in Missouri are Taxable When...

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 -Missouri recently released a letter ruling addressing the taxation of hot-air balloon rides. The taxpayer was ...

Nevada Exempts Certain Medical Equipment

Monday, June 17th, 2019 -Effective July 1, 2019, Nevada will exempt durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility ...

Participatory Sports are Taxable in New York

Friday, June 14th, 2019 -The New York Division of Tax Appeals recently denied a refund claim made by an instructor-led indoor spin clas...

Marketplace Facilitators to Collect Tax in Vermont

Thursday, June 13th, 2019 -Vermont recently passed a bill requiring marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax on retail sal...

Agricultural Rotary Cutter Taxable in Arkansas

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 -The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) recently determined that a rotary cutter used in t...

Wholesale Exemption Applies to Meals Purchased by...

Monday, June 3rd, 2019 -The Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that a food service vendor made exempt wholesale sales of food and f...