Texas Issues Guidance on Architectural Services and Design Plans

Friday, October 30th, 2015


The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts ("Comptroller") issued guidance on the taxability of sales of design plans by an architectural firm.

The firm sold design plans. The plans were stock plans and were available to all customers. The firm also updated the plans for code compliance and made site-specific changes.

The Comptroller determined that sales of stock plans were taxable sales of tangible personal property. Any services (e.g., file conversion, printing, shipping) provided along with the sales of the plans were included in the taxable sales price of the plans.

If the firm modified plans in a way that used engineering, architectural, or draftsman skills to develop something original, the modified plans were not taxable. In this scenario, the firm was selling nontaxable professional services, not just plans. However, if the firm made changes merely to fit the specifications of the purchaser, the sales of the plans were still taxable as sales of tangible personal property.


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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.

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.

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