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Sales and Use Tax - TAA 14A-019 - Taxability of Admissions to a Festival

QUESTION : ARE ADMISSIONS PAID TO A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY FOR AN EVENT LOCATED ON A PUBLIC BEACH SUBJECT TO SALES AND USE TAX?

September 5, 2014

Re: Technical Assistance Advisement – TAA 14A-019 Taxability of Admissions to a Festival
Sales and Use Tax
Section 212.04(2)(a)2.b., Florida Statutes (F.S.) XXXXX (the Taxpayer)

Dear XXXXX:

This is in response to your letter dated XXXX, requesting this Department’s issuance of a Technical Assistance Advisement (“TAA”) pursuant to Section 213.22, F.S., and Rule Chapter 12-11, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), regarding the taxability of certain printed materials. An examination of your letter has established that you have complied with the statutory and regulatory requirements for issuance of a TAA. Therefore, the Department is hereby granting your request for a TAA.

ISSUE

The issue is whether the certain payments (to the Taxpayer) for admission to the (Festival) are subject to sales and use tax.

FACTS AS STATED

The Taxpayer XXXX. It owns and operates XXXX. The Taxpayer, for the benefit of the XXXX, has organized and administered the Festival. The Festival features a culinary series of events attended by XXXX guests per year that showcases the nation’s most renowned chefs, culinary personalities, wine, spirits and restaurant exhibitors. All of the Festival events are ticketed events, and all revenues and all expenses are administered through an auxiliary unit of the Taxpayer.

The Taxpayer is the sole operator of the Festival and all of the risk of failure rests with the Taxpayer. Further, the Taxpayer is the sole beneficiary of the proceeds and, all of the proceeds are used for the benefit of the School. The Taxpayer does not exclusively use faculty and/or student talent with regard to the festival exhibitions and events it presents.

Your request specifically concerns ticket sales made for admissions to XXXX and XXXX venues. You assert the ticketed venues are located on the XXXX beachfront (the XXXX venue requires access from XXXX and the XXXX requires access through the XXXX trail).

TAXPAYER POSITION

It is your position that the ticket sales relating to venues located on the XXXX beachfront are not subject to sales and use tax pursuant to s. 212.04(2)(a)2.b., F.S.

LAW AND DISCUSSION

Section 212.04(2)(a)2.b., F.S., provides:

No tax shall be levied on admission charges to an event sponsored by a governmental entity, sports authority, or sports commission when held in a convention hall, exhibition hall, auditorium, stadium, theater, arena, civic center, performing arts center, or publicly owned recreational facility and when 100 percent of the risk of success or failure lies with the sponsor of the event and 100 percent of the funds at risk for the event belong to the sponsor, and student or faculty talent is not exclusively used. As used in this sub-subparagraph, the terms “sports authority” and “sports commission” mean a nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that contracts with a county or municipal government for the purpose of promoting and attracting sports-tourism events to the community with which it contracts.

It is clear that any of the admissions for the XXXX venues qualify for the exemption mentioned above. A governmental entity (the Taxpayer) sponsors an event located on a publicly owned recreational facility. Further, the risk of loss rests with the Taxpayer.

RESPONSE

The payments of admissions for the XXXX venues (as part of the Festival) are not subject to sales and use tax.

This response constitutes a Technical Assistance Advisement under Section 213.22, F.S., which is binding on the Department only under the facts and circumstances described in the request for this advice as specified in Section 213.22, F.S. Our response is predicated on those facts and the specific situation summarized above. You are advised that subsequent statutory or administrative rule changes, or judicial interpretations of the statutes or rules, upon which this advice is based, may subject similar future transactions to a different treatment than expressed in this response.

You are further advised that this response, your request and related backup documents are public records under Chapter 119, F.S., and are subject to disclosure to the public under the conditions of s. 213.22, F.S. Confidential information must be deleted before public disclosure. In an effort to protect confidentiality, we request you provide the undersigned with an edited copy of your request for Technical Assistance Advisement, the backup material and this response, deleting names, addresses and any other details which might lead to identification of the taxpayer. Your response should be received by the Department within 15 days of the date of this letter.

Sincerely,

R. Clay Brower
Revenue Program Administrator
Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution (850) 717-6306

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