NOTE: The Department is currently working on a Tax Guide for Photographers that will clarify, among many other issues, the tax treatment of sales of photographs by commercial photographers.
Photographers provide photographs to their customers in different ways. A customer may request prints, electronic images, or both.
Photographs delivered on media (paper, CD, USB drives, etc.)
Photographers selling their images to Washington consumers in print or delivered on a CD, USB drive or similar media, must collect retail sales tax.
Photographs transmitted electronically
Photographs transferred electronically are digital goods. Therefore, sales of photographic images transmitted electronically to Washington consumers are subject to retail sales tax. Electronic transmission includes but is not limited to:
- Making the images available for access or download from a website.
- Delivery of images to the customer via email or other electronic file transfers.