Virtual Event Center Subscriptions Taxable in Massachusetts

Subscriptions to a taxpayer’s virtual event center are subject to Massachusetts sales and use tax as prewritten software. The virtual event center is a platform consisting of a customizable website that allows customers to create their own online events. Customers access the virtual event center online and use design tools provided by the taxpayer’s software to design their own event website. The subscriptions are taxable as prewritten software because the object of the transaction is the use of the software to create an online event. All software delivery methods are taxable in Massachusetts including SaaS so there is not a requirement for the software to be downloaded to be taxable. Additionally, customers are given a license to use the software, which is generally a taxable transaction. Services provided by the taxpayer, such as design assistance and technical project management, are subject to tax if sold along with the subscription in a bundled transaction for one price. These services may not be subject to tax if they are sold as separately stated optional services. (Letter Ruling 13-5, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, June 4, 2013)

Posted on May 6, 2014