New York – Haunted Houses Subject To Sales Tax

SALT Report 3515 – A New York taxpayer filed a petition for an Advisory Opinion regarding sales tax obligations for haunted houses.  The petitioner charges admission to the haunted houses which are registered with the state as amusement rides.  Occasionally concerts are held and the admission price of these concerts includes entry to the haunted houses.

The state of New York charges sales tax on “any admission charge where such admission charge is in excess of ten cents to or for the use of any place of amusement in the state, except charges for admission to race tracks, boxing, sparring or wrestling matches or exhibitions which charges are taxed under any other law of this state, or dramatic or musical arts performances . . . or motion picture theaters, and except charges to a patron for admission to, or use of, facilities for sporting activities in which such patron is to be a participant, such as bowling alleys and swimming pools.”  Although the concert qualifies as a non taxable music performance, because the admission charge to the haunted house alone is almost half the price of the admission to both the concert and the haunted house, the admission charge was found to be taxable under section 1105(f)(1).

For Further Information:

NY TSB-A-10(11)S