Alabama Rules Video Games Were Subject to Lease Tax.

A hearing was conducted on December 6, 2004 in Birmingham, Alabama, in regards to a taxpayer owning video and other coin-operating amusement game equipment and leasing it to various businesses in Alabama. As a Taxpayer, it performs a standard lease agreement with the business owners that requires the business to pay a rental fee of fifty percent of the gross receipts that succumb from the machines. However, the Department determined that the Taxpayer was liable for sales tax on 100 percent of the machine receipts. Mack, a business owner, owned amusement machines that he allowed to run in various other businesses in Alabama. He claimed that he paid sales tax on his half of the gross proceeds, and that the location owners were supposed to pay tax on their half of the proceeds. Nonetheless, the Taxpayer argued that Mack controlled the machines and paid the location owners a commission for allowing him to put the machines at their venue. Thus, Mack was “in the business of conducting or operating … amusement devices …” and was thus directly liable for tax on the gross

Posted on December 6, 2005