New Jersey – Taxability of Search Engine Optimization Services

SALT Report 1835 – A New Jersey taxpayer requested guidance from the Division of Taxation regarding charges for search engine optimization services. Search engine optimization services are designed to improve the visibility of a web site or a web page in a search engine’s search results. Generally, the higher a web site is ranked on a results page, or the more frequently a site appears in the results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.

Search engine optimization services typically target the following types of user searches:

  • Image searches,
  • Local searches,
  • Video searches,
  • Academic searches,
  • News searches, and
  • Industry specific searches

The Division’s response was that N.J.S.A. 54:32B-1 states that receipts from the sale of a service are not subject to sales and use tax unless specifically enumerated as taxable.  Therefore, because the sales of search engine optimization services are not specifically enumerated, they are not subject to sales and use tax.

For Further Information:

New Jersey Division of Taxation – State Tax News