Hey Artists!

HEY ARTISTS!

YOU OWE SALES TAX. 

We know what you’re thinking! “Wait, can that be right?” Yes, if you are an artist who is incorporated and is selling certain products or services.
     [ If you want to stop reading immediately because you are in distress, just reach out to our team & we will help! ]

It is not just the sale of the physical art, itself, that is taxable, but also the service you provide to create the custom works. A lot of artists are providing services for weddings, so here are some examples of scenarios that may apply to you: 

  • If you are doing the lettering on the wedding invitations, you should include sales tax in your fee.

  • If you are the caterer making the cake for the wedding, you should charge sales tax.

  • If you are photographing or filming the wedding, then you should include sales tax in your fee.

  • If you are selling the digital or physical prints to the couple after the wedding is over, you should charge sales tax.*

OK - so how do you make sure you’re kosher with tax?

  1. Go to the Texas Comptroller’s website and register for a sales tax certificate: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/permit/

  2. Collect sales tax for each “sale”, or any time you get paid. Markup your fee by 8.25% **

  3. Then send that money (the 8.25%) to the State of Texas each month via the Comptroller’s website.

Some good news: there are a few tax “holidays” on the calendar, where you don’t have to worry about collecting sales tax. One popular one is the back-to-school tax-free weekend, but it only applies to the sale of certain items. You may sell clothing, for example, and this may be a product that you could sell tax-free. For more information on what is allowed to be sold tax-free, and the reporting requirements for sellers, see this handy website: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-490/reporting.php

The State of Texas has made a few podcasts about sales tax that touch on some frequently asked questions. You can find them on their website: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/training/

*See the following Comptroller Rules that define the taxable services, to determine if your service qualifies:

  • 3.300, Manufacturing; Custom Manufacturing; Fabricating; Processing,

  • 3.293, Food; Food Products; Meals; Food Service and

  • 3.312, Graphic Arts or Related Occupations; Miscellaneous Activities, and

  • publications

  • 94-143, Draftsmen and Designers,

  • 94-187, Mold Remediation Services,

  • 94-176, Photographers and Texas Sales Tax, and

  • 94-115, Ready to Eat Food.

**The state of Texas’ rate is 6.25%. The other 1-2% is a city-level charge, and the rate varies depending on what city in which the service was performed. The tax to the cities and state can be paid via the Comptroller’s website.

Laura Allen