Online Subscription-Based Educational Curriculum Not Taxable in Texas

A company’s sales of an online subscription-based childhood educational curriculum were exempt from Texas sales and use tax since the curriculum is primarily instructional in nature. The curriculum includes lessons and activities in reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and social studies. The lessons support Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards established by the Texas State Board of Education. In Texas, only specifically enumerated services are subject to tax. Amusement services, information services, and data processing services are taxable in Texas. The company’s online curriculum is not an amusement service because it is for the “primary purpose of education.” The curriculum also does not fall under the definition of taxable information services. The curriculum’s provision of access to an online platform and database of lessons and related materials does have elements of data processing services. However, it is primarily instructional in nature and does not constitute a data processing service. As a result, sales of the online curriculum are exempt from Texas sales and use tax. (Letter No. 201902023L, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, February 22, 2019, released April 2019)

Posted on May 30, 2019