Hunting Sales Tax in Nebraska
- Jan 23, 2015 | Gail Cole
Avid hunters travel to find their prey. Some scour public lands. Others pay for the privilege of hunting on private lands.
The charge to access land to hunt is a taxable admission in Nebraska Department of Revenue General Interest Letter (GIL). The GIL points to several state statutes to support its assertion:
- Rev. Stat. § 77-2703(1)&(3): “There is hereby imposed a tax … [upon] the gross receipts from the sale of admissions in this state.”
- Rev. Stat. § 77-2701.55(1)&(2): “Admissions means the right or privilege to have access to a place or location where amusement, entertainment, or recreation is provided to an audience, spectators, or the participants in the activity…. Recreation means a sport or activity engaged in by participants for purposes of refreshment, relaxation, or diversion of the participants. Recreation does not include practice or instruction.”
- Rev. Stat. § 77-2701.55(3): “Admissions does not include the lease or rental of a location, facility or part of a location or facility if the lessor cedes the right to determine who is granted access to the location or facility to the lessee for the period of the lease or rental.”
Nebraska sales tax does not generally apply to guide services: A hunter who “separately contracts for a guide” would not pay sales tax on charges for that service. However, if a landowner charges admissions to hunt on the land and also offers guide services (for an additional charge), then “the additional charge for the service of a guide is also subject to sales tax.” This is true whether the guide is the landowner or someone hired by the landowner. The “total amount charged by the landowner is subject to sales tax as an admission.”
If a guide purchases exclusive rights to the land for hunting purposes, the charge is not subject to sales tax. The transaction instead “falls within the exclusion of leases or rentals from the definition of ‘admission’ provided in § 77-2701.55(3)” (see above).
However, charges by the guide to the customers are taxable admissions.
A bird in hand…
If landowners charge an additional fee per animal (for example, $100 per turkey or $500 per deer), that fee is considered “part of the gross receipts for selling the admission and is subject to sales tax.”
Landowners or guides who make taxable sales in Nebraska must obtain a sales tax permit and collect and remit sales tax to the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Additional information is available in GIL 1-14-14.
A GIL provides answers to general questions and is a “statement of current Department policy.” The Nebraska Department of Revenue will generally “follow the principles or procedures described in a GIL until it is rescinded or superseded.” GILs are useful tools but it is always best to double check with a tax expert or state department of revenue when seeking advice on specific situations.
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