Digital Planners and Educational Video Courses Taxable as Digital Goods in Arkansas

A taxpayer’s sales of digital planners and educational video courses were taxable in Arkansas since they qualify as taxable digital goods. Arkansas imposes sales tax on sales of specified digital products to an end user with the right of permanent use or less than permanent use granted by the seller. “Specified digital products” means the following when transferred electronically: digital audio works; digital audio-visual works; and digital books. The Department of Finance and Administration stated that a digital planner is a written work that consists of pages that are digitally bound together in a consecutive succession and order that is essential to its purpose and is therefore generally recognized in the ordinary and usual sense as a book. As a result, digital planners are taxable as digital books. Video courses consist of a series of related images that, when shown in succession, impart an impression of motion, and sounds accompany the impressions of motion. As a result, educational video courses are digital audio-visual works and subject to tax. The taxpayer also sells digital worksheets. The Department stated that a worksheet does not necessarily consist of pages that are bound together in a consecutive succession and order that is essential to its purpose. If the succession and order of the digital worksheet’s pages is not essential to the overall purpose of the worksheet, the worksheet is not a digital book and is therefore exempt. If the above taxable and exempt items are sold together in a bundled transaction, the prices of the individual items should be itemized on the receipt or invoice so tax only applies to the taxable items and not the entire transaction. (Revenue Legal Counsel Opinion No. 20180921, Department of Finance and Administration, March 16, 2020)

Posted on May 19, 2020