Texas affirms taxability of out-of-state printing of advertising materials.

In a case issued on July 15, 2004, May Department Stores Co. was found liable for Texas use tax for the store’s use of advertising materials printed outside of the state. On August 26, 2004, a new opinion was substituted for this ruling which gave the same taxability decision, but allows for the removal of a 2003 legislative amendment to the applicable statute. Both rulings concur that the printing of out-of-state advertising materials are subject to Texas use tax. Materials used for advertising a Texas department store were printed outside of the state, but mailed to prospective customers in Texas. The department store’s use of the printing, which produced the advertising materials, “was an exercise of a right or power incidental to the ownership of tangible personal property” over the advertising materials that were the result of the printing. Furthermore, the department store took possession of some of the advertising materials in the form of coupons that were used by customers in Texas, which encouraged purchases, i.e. solicitation of sales, in the state. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment that the purchase of the out-of-state printing materials mailed to prospective customers in Texas is subject to use tax. (The May Department Stores Co. v. Strayhorn, Texas Court of Appeals, 3rd District, No. 03-03-00729-CV, July 15, 2004, motion for rehearing August 26, 2004)

Posted on September 10, 2004