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C&D_Haunts
07-10-2012, 05:46 PM
I'm curious if anyone has to charge and remit sales taxes to the state for the admission price? We are a first year haunt and I've found that our state mentions nothing about sales taxes for a haunted attraction, so I don't know if its exempt from sales tax or not.

pickle
07-10-2012, 07:41 PM
Don't know where you live but in this money grubbing state of NJ you must collect sales tax on nearly everything!:mad: Just like admission to a movie theater or an amusement park...the state wants their cut! Charities may be exempt but I would call your local tax office to double check. I know many businesses that folded because they "didn't think" they had to pay until the state came calling a few years down the road & added on their fines & penalties, couldn't pay & had to close their doors. The tax man can close you down quicker than anything...double check BEFORE opening...avoid the aggg! Just my 2 cents!:)



P.

BrotherMysterio
07-10-2012, 10:18 PM
The tax man can close you down quicker than anything.

Quicker than the Fire Marshall or the Building Inspector? Wow, that's frightening.

Just when you think you have all of your compliance issues dealt with. :(

ZqK97av7I3s


I'm curious if anyone has to charge and remit sales taxes to the state for the admission price? We are a first year haunt and I've found that our state mentions nothing about sales taxes for a haunted attraction, so I don't know if its exempt from sales tax or not.

Just charge $10, $15, or $20 a ticket, "tax included", and then budget for whatever the tax rate is in your town or municipality, and round it up to the nearest whole number or so that gives you good numbers to work with. So, for instance, here in DFW, TX, the sales tax rate is 8.25%, so I would round it up to a nice, round 10% or so, to make the math easy. I'm not sure how sales tax rates figure into theatrical productions or attractions, but you get the idea. I'm sure it works in some similar way. (Allen would know.)

So, for instance, if you had a $100 ticket with a tax rate of 8.25%, you'd pay $108.25. However, if your price is tax included, or that is to say $100 divided by 1.0825, then that's approx. $92.38 for the after-tax gross of the ticket, and $7.62 for the included tax.

In proper haunt numbers:


For a $10 ticket, you are getting about $9.24 in after-tax gross, with approx. $0.76 saved for taxes.
For a $15 ticket, you are getting about $13.85 in after-tax gross, with approx. $1.15 saved for taxes.
For a $20 ticket, you are getting about $18.47 in after-tax gross, with approx. $1.53 saved for taxes.


If we were to pick a nice rate that yields round numbers, like, say, a rate of 11.11%, then we should be more than covered, and get a nice windfall profit savings if we don't have to pay.

To wit:


For a $10 ticket, you are getting about $9.00 in after-tax gross, with approx. $1.00 saved for taxes.
For a $15 ticket, you are getting about $13.50 in after-tax gross, with approx. $1.50 saved for taxes.
For a $20 ticket, you are getting about $18.00 in after-tax gross, with approx. $2.00 saved for taxes.



Then, if the taxman comes knocking, he gets whatever he wants, and you breathe easy cuz you got it covered (unless your sales tax rate exceeds 11.11%, which I would classify as predatory). If the taxman doesn't come knocking, then you get a nice windfall profit of an additional 10%. Not a bad thing.

Either way, you win, and don't have to worry about the money or the math on the front end, knowing you'll be covered when the day is done and it's time to count your chips.

C.

Allen H
07-11-2012, 12:05 AM
Always pay sales tax. Include it in your admission and just charge a dollar more. Report honestly and save yourself the head ache later. Try to set yourself up so you pay annually instead of quarterly, otherwise you will need to file three forms at zero income and they could revoke the business permit for inactivity. Contact your states comptroller for all the info you need.
Allen H

SCfearfarm
07-11-2012, 01:18 PM
Check with your state because in SC we pay an admissions tax instead of sales tax on any tickets and then any food/drinks/shirts etc. require sales tax. I was told at the last minute last year and if you don't have the permit displayed in your ticket booth it is something like a $500 per night fine and 30 days in jail, so who knows? haha

BigT
07-11-2012, 01:59 PM
Wow glad to be doing business in NC and VA. Here we do not pay sales tax on admission tickets. Just on merch sold. I verified this with the tax office when I tried getting a resale license, and they wouldnt give it to me because I did not sell merch at the time.

pickle
07-11-2012, 02:47 PM
Big T,

I might move down south...these freakin' money grubbers in this state cannot dig deep enough in your pocket & they still can't balance the GD budget! I'm all for paying my fair share of my taxes...if these morons that we elect knew how to spend it correctly. But when I hear were paying $840,000. year to study why cows fart, it:-x infuriates me! Hold on while I crawl off my soap box! :-x



P.

C&D_Haunts
07-12-2012, 09:01 PM
We are operating in Ohio and I contacted the Ohio Department of Taxation and there is no sales or admissions taxes charged on admission paid to enter a venue, and they specifically said a haunted attraction was exempt.

I probably should have called the state before I asked the question in here :oops:

mrfoos
07-12-2012, 09:38 PM
We are operating in Ohio and I contacted the Ohio Department of Taxation and there is no sales or admissions taxes charged on admission paid to enter a venue, and they specifically said a haunted attraction was exempt.

I probably should have called the state before I asked the question in here :oops:

Not at all. Now we all know it isn't charged by all states. Better check with mine here in Georgia.

BrotherMysterio
07-12-2012, 10:45 PM
I probably should have called the state before I asked the question in here :oops:

Perhaps, but then they may not have given you that comprehensive of an answer, or there may be various stipulations that may not have occurred to you, nor that the agent on the phone neither thought to address.

Always better to ask than not.


We are operating in Ohio and I contacted the Ohio Department of Taxation and there is no sales or admissions taxes charged on admission paid to enter a venue, and they specifically said a haunted attraction was exempt.

Well, perhaps, but what if you are offering concessions? What if you're selling swag? What if you are offering side attractions like carnival games or whatnot that suddenly takes you out from under the exclusively a haunted attraction umbrella or designation, so to speak? Then it might be a different story all together.

Frightener had the same issue with the local Fire Marshall. At first the FM said "all clear" and Frightener didn't have to do a thing, given the preexisting conditions. Then when a key factor changed a bit, suddenly Frightener had to pony up some $40K to make the FM happy. Oops. Didn't see that one coming.

Fortunately he was able to come up with a very clever solution that made the FM happy, so Frightener's back in business, but you get to brave all kinds of surprises when you start pro-haunting. Lot so fun.

I would just put aside the 10% in the breakdown of gross vs. net like I suggested, and just have it if you need it, and if you find out for drop dead certain that indeed you don't need to pay it for anything, then, voilą, you get to pocket that as pure profit savings.

C.

BigT
07-13-2012, 11:01 AM
BrotherMysterio makes a good point. There are a lof ot little "gotchas" in the business of entertainment (not just Haunted Attractions by the way). My wife and I have been in the entertainment business for a long long time, and have seen a lot of promoters walk in the door with no money in their pocket expeccting to walk out with 100% of ticket sales, only to find out there are a lot of other little fees and "taxes" that are lingering in the shadows. Best to have a contingency fund just for dealing with those little buggers.

Frightener
07-13-2012, 11:15 AM
I am new to this whole bit. I've been in retail for soo long it's not funny. I'm a mechanic and I love welding, but in my 36 year life, my career consists 90% of retail. The bad thing... I have ZERO knowledge of the tax setups and all that. What venues I DID have, I always had help with that stuff, it always seemed easy, but doing this by myself with my brother and wife helping... ehh yeah. It's rough.


My thoughts are this. Do what BM said and stick back a rounded up figure. Throw that in a seperate account / safe and keep it there until I KNOW for sure. Although I'm sure we have to pay in Arkansas. This way, when the numbers come down and it's said "You need XXX.XX money.." I should have XXX.XX + some to help out in case it's off and I have to pay more than I should. I hear the stories of people showing the numbers and STILL end up saying that it wasn't right and they owe more.

Luckily, we live onsite now, same big building with our workshop, there's a house here too which will eventually (hopefully after this year we'll have the dough) to renovate and make it livable. All this haunt has to do is pay the rent and taxes! If it does that, we're in heaven.


We all learn. Unfortunately, this is one of the bigger lessons for a newb.


Dewayne

rwrussom
07-16-2012, 11:44 AM
California has no sale tax on event admission (currently)