Information Services Not Personal In Nature When From A Public Source

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

A clothing store.
New York

The New York Tax Tribunal ("Tribunal") ruled that information services are not "personal or individual in nature" when the source of the information is non-confidential and widely accessible.

The taxpayer performed competitive price audits for retailers. The taxpayer collected pricing information from stores, analyzed that information using a historical price database, and then delivered a report to the client. The report was customized based on the client's competitors, the items compared, and the client's technical needs. The taxpayer did not resell the data in client reports and did not directly sell the information in its historical price database.

New York taxes the sale of information services. Information services are the collection, compilation, or analysis of information of any kind that is furnished in reports to other persons. Information services are not taxable if the information (1) is personal or individual in nature and (2) is not or may not be substantially incorporated into reports furnished to others. Information is not "personal or individual in nature" if the source of the information is not confidential and is widely accessible.

The Tribunal concluded that the taxpayer was providing taxable information services. The information came from items on store shelves, which are not confidential and are widely accessible. The fact that the customer selected the stores and items surveyed or received a personalized report did not make the report personal or individual in nature.

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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