Tax & Accounting Blog

I Spy With My Tax Eye…Sales Tax on Concert Equipment, Fake Blood, and Pyrotechnics

Blog, Indirect Tax, ONESOURCE, Sales and Use Tax July 28, 2014


I play the game “I spy with my little eye” with my kids when I need something quick to keep them busy.  This usually happens after we have worn out the quiet game on long car rides.  Last Friday night, my husband and I went to the KISS and Def Leppard Concert trying to relive our youth now that we can afford the ticket price for decent seats.  As a certified tax geek, I couldn’t help but think about all of the sales tax issues related with producing a concert and then packing up and heading to the next city.  As we sat in the parking lot waiting our turn to depart, I started to pass the time playing eye spy pulling together my list of potential tax issues.  Here is what I came up with:

• Ensuring the correct sales tax on t-shirts, posters, ear-plugs (for an old lady like me that wanted to be able to hear the next day)
• Determining how to allocate or account for sales/use tax on all of the equipment trucked in (e.g. sound, lighting, instruments, video, pyrotechnics)
• Accounting for sales/use tax on consumables used in the production of the show like fireworks, fake blood, and endless confetti during the show finale
• Collecting sales tax on ticket sales and parking in states that tax these activities
• Determining how tax is applied to the any number of contractors hired for set up, security, flagging, ticket taking, food service, VIP tent attendants, and all of the other staff and individuals that play a role in putting on the show

We eventually got out of the parking lot and made our way home after a fun evening and a great show.  I’m not worried about KISS and their sales tax administration though.  With how much different merchandise they sell (from Christmas ornament to caskets) they must have this sales tax thing figured out.