Home Staging Provider’s Service Charges Exempt in Virginia Since Separately Stated on Invoice

A home staging services provider that provides design services and rents furniture to customers was not subject to Virginia sales tax on its sales of services since the design services and furniture rental were separately stated on the invoice. In Virginia, sales tax does not apply to an interior decorator’s charges for services. When a decorator makes a lump sum charge for services and furnishes tangible personal property (TPP), the tax applies to the total charge, unless the charge for services is billed separately from the TPP. An auditor had previously assessed sales tax on the provider’s charges for the design services where charges for the design services and furniture rental were included on the same invoice. In this case, the service provider did not issue a lump sum contract, but rather, separately stated the design services and rental furniture on its invoices. As a result, the Department of Taxation found the provider’s charges for the design services were exempt. In the ruling, the Department of Taxation noted that it was not the intent of the pertinent regulation to require interior decorators to issue separate bills when selling both services and rentals of TPP to its customers. Rather, the regulation provides that the charges merely need to be separately stated on the invoice, with sales tax being charged on the sale or rental of TPP. (Ruling of Commissioner, P.D. 20-16, Virginia Department of Taxation, January 31, 2020, released April 2020)

Posted on May 12, 2020