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Newspaper Delivery Charges Not Taxable in Missouri

  • Oct 17, 2012 | Gail Cole

In Missouri, the sale of tangible personal property is subject to sales tax. Newspapers are considered tangible personal property, and therefore sales of newspaper subscriptions are subject to sales tax.

A recent letter ruling by the Missouri Department of Revenue addresses the issue of whether or not newspaper delivery charges are also subject to sales tax. The answer, it turns out, hinges on whether or not delivery charges are mandatory, and how the charges are stated.

The Missouri Code of State Regulations 12 CSR 10-110.400(3)(E) (p10) reads

"If the purchaser is required to pay for delivery, handling, postage costs or similar service charges as part of the sale price of the publication, the entire sale price is subject to tax. If the purchaser is not required to pay the service charge as part of the sale price of the publication, the amount paid for the service is not subject to tax if the charge for such service is separately stated. If the charge for the service is not separately stated, the entire sale price is subject to tax."

The Applicant in the letter ruling publishes a daily newspaper and uses independent contractors to deliver the newspapers if subscribers desire home delivery. Subscribers may pick up the newspapers themselves, and forego delivery services. If used, delivery charges are separately stated, and the applicant receives no part of the delivery charge.

Since the Applicant does not mandate delivery, and since delivery charges are distinct from subscription charges, the Applicant is not required to pay sales tax on delivery services.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.