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The Nuts and Bolts of Rhode Island’s Arts Exemption

  • Oct 7, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Rhode Island prepares to support the arts with a statewide exemption.


Rhode Island will soon extend the state’s existing exemption for sales by writers, composers, and artists from select districts to the entire state. The statewide exemption for arts takes effect on December 1, 2013. In preparation for that event, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation has drafted a Regulation regarding the implementation of the statewide sales and use tax exemption.

In order for an exemption to be valid, the seller must complete an exemption certificate:

  • Individuals or legal entities must apply to the tax administrator for a Certificate of Exemption on a form prescribed by the tax administrator; and
  • Art galleries must apply to the tax administrator for a sales tax exemption.

Furthermore, writers, artists, composers and operators of art galleries must “submit an annual certified accounting of the total amount of revenue from the sale of art, the number of works sold, the type of work sold (i.e. book, painting, print, photograph, sculpture, etc.) and the date of sale. Failure to file such a report may … terminate any further eligibility for the exemption of the writer, composer, artist or art gallery.” (Emphasis mine).

A public hearing on the statewide exemption for the arts will be held on October 24, 2013, in Providence. Written comments are due prior to the hearing, while oral arguments during the hearing must be limited to 5 minutes. Areas to be addressed include alternative approaches to instituting the statewide exemption, overlap or duplication with other statutory or regulatory provisions, and significant economic impact on small businesses.

Read Regulation SU 13-143--the Exemption of Sales by Writers, Composers and Artists--here.

Don’t let the business side of the Rhode Island exemption squelch your creativity. Outsource exemption certificate management and devote more time and space to your art.

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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.