Real-Time Web Analytics Data Service is Nontaxable in New York

A company’s sale of three service packages that deliver real-time web analytics data regarding website performance to the website owners is an information service that is not subject to New York sales and use taxas it is considered personal or individual in nature. In the three different service packages, the company embeds software on the customer’s website which it uses to gather information about visitors to the website. The company then makes the information available to the customers on the company’s online dashboard portal.Two of the service packages also provide the customer with aggregated anonymized data gathered from various websites to use as benchmark information. The benchmark information represents only a small portion of the information provided to the customer. All three service packages constitute an information service. However, since the information provided in all three service packages is personal or individual in nature and may not be substantially incorporated in reports furnished to other persons, the three service packages qualify for the “personal or individual” exemption from tax in Tax Law §1105(c)(1). The provision of incidental bench-marking statistics to customers for two of the packages, at no additional charge, does not make the information service taxable since the benchmark information is a de minimis part of the overall information provided to the customer, and the company does not provide customers with the raw data underlying the bench-marking information. The dashboard portal software that the company provides to its customers to view the information is incidental to the information service and is therefore not taxable.(TSB-A-16(3)S, New York Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, February 22, 2016)

Posted on March 24, 2016