Alabama Taxes Admissions to Cruises

Monday, June 1st, 2015

A cruise ship.

The Alabama Tax Tribunal recently ruled that admissions for cruises were taxable admissions to amusement.

The taxpayer provided educational cruises, primarily for students. On the cruises, the taxpayer would catch fish, shrimp, and other marine species in a net, put them in a tank on the boat, and let the students examine them with microscopes. The taxpayer released or otherwise disposed of its catch at the end of the cruise.

Alabama taxes admissions to "places of amusement." This tax does not apply to charges to fish or hunt. The Tax Tribunal ruled that admission to the taxpayer's cruises was taxable. First, a boat could be a "place" of amusement. It did not matter that the boat had no fixed location: it was still a place. Second, the taxpayer's activities were not exempt fishing activities. The taxpayer's customers paid to enjoy the cruise and to view, examine, and study the marine species. They did not pay to fish. Admissions to the cruises were therefore taxable.

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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.

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