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Information Bulletin #30
Sales Tax
April 2022
(Replaces Information Bulletin #30, dated November 2011)
Effective Date: Upon Publication

SUBJECT: Entertainment Products

DISCLAIMER: Information bulletins are intended to provide nontechnical assistance to the general public. Every attempt is made to provide information that is consistent with the appropriate statutes, rules and court decisions. Any information that is not consistent with the law, regulations or court decisions is not binding on either the department or the taxpayer. Therefore, the information provided herein should serve only as a foundation for further investigation and study of the current law and procedures related to the subject matter covered herein.

Apart from technical, nonsubstantive changes, this bulletin has been updated to include a reference to Sales Tax Information Bulletin #42 concerning rentals and leasing.


Generally, a person is considered a retail merchant when selling, renting, or leasing entertainment products. Entertainment products include, but are not limited to, motion picture film, audio tape, video tape, videos, video cassette recorders, video game machines, video game discs, DVDs, blu-ray discs, compact discs, and stereo equipment. A person who sells, rents, or leases entertainment products must register with the Department as a retail merchant and collect and remit Indiana gross retail tax on all subject transactions.

Sale and Rental of Entertainment Products

The sale of motion picture film, audio tape, video tape, DVDs, and other similar products is subject to sales tax, regardless of whether the product is used for public or private viewing. Likewise, the rental or leasing of entertainment products to a person not engaged in the movie theater or broadcast industry is subject to sales tax, even if the person imposes a "cover charge" to view the product (e.g., film).

However, the rental or leasing of motion picture film, audio tape, video tape, or similar products is exempt from sales tax if the person who pays to rent or lease the film or tape is regularly and ordinarily engaged in the business of broadcasting films or tapes to the general public for admission or for home viewing or listening.

Example #1: A person rents a motion picture film to show to attendees at an annual festival. No admission is charged to attend the event. The rental of the film is subject to tax.

Example #2: A movie theater leases a motion picture film to show as part of its business. The lease of the film is not subject to sales tax.

Late Fees

Late fees assessed per day on the late return of entertainment products such as videos and video games are considered extensions of the underlying rental or lease and are subject to sales tax. The taxability of other charges associated with rental or leases is covered in Sales Tax Information Bulletin #42, available online at in.gov/dor/legal-resources/tax-library/information-bulletins/sales-tax-information-bulletins/.

Robert J. Grennes

Posted: 05/11/2022 by Legislative Services Agency

DIN: 20220511-IR-045220150NRA
Composed: Jun 14,2024 6:19:57AM EDT
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