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  • Margaret Kocaj

NC Sales and Use UPDATE

Calling all Digital Content Makers and Sellers!!!!


(1) Your content is taxable. According to the Sales and Use Tax Bulletin Published on June 28, 2019:

"The general State, applicable local, and applicable transit rates of sales and use tax apply to the sales price of certain digital property that is sold at retail, is delivered or accessed electronically, is not considered tangible personal property, and would be subject to sales and use tax if sold in a tangible medium. The tax applies regardless of whether the purchaser of the item has the right to use it permanently or to use it without making continued payments.

The following digital property is subject to sales and use tax:

1. An audio work.

2. An audiovisual work.

3. A book, a magazine, a newspaper, a newsletter, a report, or another publication.

4. A photograph or a greeting card."


(2) But what rate do you charge? Your company is in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina but your client is in Union County, North Carolina. What county tax rate applies? The Bulletin tells us that "Digital property is sourced to the location where a purchaser receives digital property. A purchaser receives digital property when the purchaser takes possession of the property or makes first use of the property, whichever comes first."


So, regardless of whether your photography company delivers electronic images to the client, allows the client to download the digital images, or allows the client to print the digital images without downloading, the digital images are digital property that is accessed electronically and subject to sales and use tax.

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