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Tangible vs. Intangible – A Critical Sales Tax Distinction

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1.5 CPE credits
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Is what you’re selling tangible or intangible? States use this key distinction to help classify products for sales tax purposes. 

Tangible property is generally subject to tax while historically, intangible property and services were not taxed… but this is changing. 

Thanks to rapidly developing technology and the introduction of new products, services, and industries, it has become much more difficult to classify exactly what it is that you’re selling and whether or not it’s taxable.

Whether you work with emerging technology or in a more ‘traditional’ industry, you need to know how to navigate the tangible/intangible divide and the increasingly complicated sales tax issues that derive from it.

Learn how to define the line between tangible and intangible for your products and services so you can accurately apply sales tax rules and stay in compliance in this 90-minute webinar.

Who should attend?

This webinar is intended for financial and operations personnel—including tax, general accounting, accounts payable, sales, tax technology, purchasing and credit—who deal with sales and use tax as part of their responsibilities. This webinar is also intended for those who make sales of products and/or services and need to understand how to classify their sales for sales and use tax purposes. The webinar is also designed for general practitioners, with minimal to no sales tax experience.

About the Instructor

Diane L. Yetter, President & Founder, YETTER and Sales Tax Institute

Diane L. Yetter is the “Sales Tax Nerd TM” as well as a strategist, advisor, speaker and author in the field of sales and use tax. She is president and founder of YETTER Tax, a sales tax consulting and tax technology firm in business since 1996. She is also the founder of The Sales Tax Institute, which offers live and online courses to educate business professionals about sales and use tax.

More About Diane L. Yetter

“The webinar was very informative. There are certainly many nuances with sales tax and the webinar did a great job of capturing examples of what to be aware of.”

Additional Details About the "Tangible vs. Intangible – A Critical Sales Tax Distinction" Webinar

With the introduction of new technology that merges tangible goods with remotely accessed software, things like smart home devices and wearables become difficult to classify and tax. 

The line between tangible and intangible can be blurry even in non-tech transactions. For example, if you sell artwork on commission, are you selling a professional painting service or the end result, the painting? Further complications can arise if you sell bundled transactions with both products and services. You need to know how to properly classify each item so sales tax is charged appropriately on the sale.

How you define your products or services feeds into invoice and contract presentation. One misstep can result in sales tax calculation errors that hurt the bottom line. Charging the incorrect amount of sales tax can lead to significant audit risk and potential legal issues like class action lawsuits. Not to mention customer relationship issues!

This webinar will provide you with expert advice to help determine what you’re selling from a sales tax perspective. We’ll cover tangible vs. intangible classification issues for software, digital goods, copyrights, artwork, licensing, and more.

Your Teaching Staff

In this 90-minute live webinar, sales tax expert Diane Yetter of the Sales Tax Institute will cover the issues related to the classification of tangible property and intangible property. She’ll also address significant state developments that are impacting how products and services are classified.

In addition, you can get answers to your questions from Diane during the live Q&A portion of the webinar.

Learning Objectives for this webinar include:

  • Learn how to properly classify the products or services you sell and purchase to ensure that you are correctly handling sales and use tax on every transaction.
  • Understand product classification guidelines for tangible property, intangible property, services, and more. 
  • Find out how bundled transactions should be treated for sales and use tax purposes so you can charge the correct amount of sales tax and avoid unnecessary risk.
  • Learn the importance of invoice and contract presentation so you can avoid potentially costly sales tax calculation errors.
  • Discover how different states are addressing tangible vs. intangible classification for sales and use tax purposes.

CPE Information:

Webinar attendees can earn 1.5 hours of CPE credit in the “Taxes” field of study

Prerequisites: This course requires no prerequisites or advance preparation.

Program Level: Basic

Delivery Method: Group Internet-Based


Additional Information about CPE

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