Putting the fun in fun runs (by taking sales tax out) – Wacky Tax Wednesday

Putting the fun in fun runs (by taking sales tax out) – Wacky Tax Wednesday

I developed a taste for road races relatively recently. For most of my life, the thought of running with hundreds or thousands of other (fitter) people seemed more an exercise in humiliation than the body. Then I discovered the Turkey Trot.

Some fine folks in my community put on a race every Thanksgiving morning to bring people together, stimulate the appetite, and raise money for our local food bank. And you know what? It’s fun.

My local race is also exempt from sales tax. Fees to enter running, biking, and other athletic racing events were once subject to retail sales tax in Washington (where I trot my turkey), but those charges are exempt as of January 1, 2016. 

Turkey trots held in Georgia are also exempt. According to Georgia Department of Revenue Sales Tax Rule 560-12-2-.28, the “charges to participate in a 10k, half-marathon, marathon, ‘fun run,’ walk, wheelchair race, bicycle race, triathlon, or any similar non-motorized race are not considered to be charges for participation in games or amusement activities and are therefore not subject to tax.”

On the other hand, “entry fees to runs, walks, races, and other customer participation events” are generally subject to Wisconsin sales tax. If the event is organized by a nonprofit organization, the entry fees may be exempt.

Fees charged to participate in a game, race, or other sport or recreational event are generally exempt in Florida if spectators have to pay to watch. If there’s no charge to watch the event, as with most fun runs, charges to participate in the race are generally subject to sales tax. 

Whether your Thanksgiving involves an exempt or taxable fun run, or not, I hope it’s a happy one.

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