Category Archives: Rants & Raves

The Art of Critique

I have encountered plenty of critique, both solicited and unsolicited. As a photographer I have been through several portfolio reviews in my career, some solicited and some not. Some of the solicited critique was very helpful and some was downright mean. I immediately started to consider how solicited critique is given and received. I am...

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    Do photographers have to charge sales tax?

    Do photographers have to charge sales tax? Well, in Texas,  it depends on your licensing. If you sell the licensing for a photograph and retain the copyright, sales tax is NOT due. “In general, the Comptroller presumes that all charges in an ordinary bill of sale for photographs to be the sale of tangible personal...

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    • What if it is a service…. ie retouching a clients photos. They send you a digital file, you fix white balance, blemish removal, etc and email the file back? I can’t figure this out….

    • admin

      I think if you don’t create the file, you are performing a service. The file is the product.

    • Holly

      What I find confusing is that this same person is also stating here http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx94_176.pdf that “Photographers who sell copyrighted pictures are not manufacturing taxable items for
      sale and thus cannot claim the
      manufacturing exemption when
      buying goods and materials
      used to create those photographs. A photographer who
      has retained a copyright on a
      photograph is responsible for
      paying tax for the supplies and for the divergent
      use of any equipment purchased under a manufacturing exemption.”

    • admin

      That is confusing. I just know that you won’t get in trouble for charging sales tax and paying the county. That seems the lesser of the two (confusing) evils!

    • Yes, this is so confusing and I have received so many different answers.  So…If I offer a flat rate session, which includes digital files of the session, do I charge sales tax?  I currently only charge tax on tangible items I sell…prints, albums, etc.  

    • admin

      it’s about how you license your photos. If you lease your photos and put a return/destroy time, they aren’t a tangible product.