Kansas Discusses Taxability of Providing Equipment with an Operator

The Kansas Department of Revenue issued an opinion letter regarding the sales tax treatment of transactions involving the furnishing of equipment with an operator. The company in question provides audio and visual equipment to record events for customers. The company’s technicians set up and operate the equipment. In Kansas, sales tax applies to the purchases and leases of equipment by the service company that it will furnish to customers with an operator. In cases such as this, the charges to the customer are considered as a service rather than as a rental or lease of equipment. Only specified services are subject to sales tax in Kansas, and event recording is not specified as a taxable service. Hence, the company’s charges for recording special events are not subject to Kansas sales tax, with one exception. If the company edits and produces videos of the event, the charges for the edited videos would be taxable if provided on a tangible medium (such as a DVD). If the company provides this service, the Department recommends contracting the editing service separately from the contract for furnishing equipment with an operator. Providing a client with raw, unedited video would not be subject to sales tax. However, if the company were to furnish equipment along with a third-party operator and provide an edited copy of the event on a tangible medium, the company would be required to collect sales tax on the entire amount billed to the customer. (Opinion Letter No. O-2011-007, Kansas Department of Revenue, July 18, 2011)

Posted on May 21, 2012