Audio-Visual Equipment Not Classified as Building Materials in Colorado

Colorado has issued a general information letter discussing whether audio-visual equipment was classified as construction building materials for sales and use tax and contractor exemption purposes. The equipment provided by the audio-visual systems retailer included video monitors, speakers, amplifiers, wireless microphone systems, video cameras, projectors, racking hardware, antennas, conductors, and cabling. Building materials are generally materials that are incorporated into the structure to such an extent that they cannot be removed without substantial damage to the structure. The Department stated that the VDA and HDMI input plates appeared to be the only material that can be treated as building materials if they are permanently attached to the structure. The retailer did not perform the traditional work of an electrician. The Department was reluctant to classify installers of audio-visual equipment, entertainment systems, burglar alarms and similar equipment as construction contractors because the equipment was not considered building materials and was generally not fixtures of real property. As a result, the Department treats the company as a retailer and not a contractor. As a result, the materials are not eligible for the contractor sales and use tax exemption. The audio visual company is deemed a retailer and should charge sales tax on the selling price of the equipment. If the sale is made to a contractor, since the equipment is not classified as building material, the contractor is deemed a retailer when selling it to its customer. It will be required to be registered to collect sales tax and should issue a resale certificate to the audio visual company on its purchases. (GIL 15-011, Colorado Department of Revenue, July 22, 2015)

Posted on August 20, 2015