Research Library Subscription Taxable in Arizona

A company was liable for Arizona transaction privilege tax (TPT) on its research library subscription sales since the subscription qualifies as a taxable rental of personal property. The company asserted that providing a database to licensed users does not amount to a lease of tangible personal property and that customers did not have exclusive use and control of the research platform or the information therein. However, customers independently browsed and performed functions with the data which was made possible by the software hosted on the company’s server. The Arizona Department of Revenue concluded that the software and servers served as tangible personal property, and customers’ independent access, use and manipulation of data qualified as rental transactions under the personal property rental classification.(Case No. 201400197-S, Arizona Department of Revenue, Director’s Review of the Decision of the Administrative Law Judge, October 2015, released February 10, 2016)

Posted on March 23, 2016