DJ Activities Eligible for Chicago Exemption

The City of Chicago imposes an amusement tax of 8% on the admissions fees of all patrons of the amusement. The city does provide an exemption for “live cultural performances” at venues with a seating of 750 or under and a reduced rate of 4% on cultural performances at venues with a capacity of more than 750. DJs qualify as a “live cultural performance” if the material played by the DJ was recorded by the DJ or if they are paid substantially above the rate normally paid to someone playing pre-recorded material. The DJ also qualifies if four of the following five factors are met: the DJ is featured in advertisements for the venue, the DJ is visible to patrons of the venue who spend a substantial amount of time observing the performance, the DJ is featured more prominently than other amusements at the venue, patrons are charged more for entry than would be paid without the DJ, or the DJ is represented by a manager or agent. The burden of proof in this matter lies with the venue. (Amusement Tax Ruling #4, City of Chicago, Department of Revenue, December 1, 2006)

Posted on February 12, 2007