Event photographers are contracted to take photographs by the event, such as weddings, birthday parties, etc. A typical contract might include:
- Shooting fees
- Travel expenses
- Charges for the photos themselves
- Related, miscellaneous expenses
Business and Occupation Tax: Event photographers report their gross income under the Retailing B&O classification when selling photographs to the end user.
Retail Sales Tax: The event photographer must collect and remit sales tax on all charges to the customer, including reimbursed travel expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.
Sitting Fees: Sitting fees charged by an event photographer are subject to sales tax and the Retailing B&O tax. See the “Sitting Fees” discussion in this guide for more information.
Sourcing your event income: For sales tax purposes, the income is sourced according to where the customer takes possession of the final product. The location of the event itself does not determine the sales tax rate. See “Collecting Sales Tax – Local Tax Rates” in this guide for more information.
Example 7: An Idaho couple decides to conduct their wedding ceremony in the city of Spokane. They contract with a Spokane-based photographer to cover their wedding. The contract includes a variety of prints and a CD with the photographs, all to be mailed to the couple’s Idaho residence. The photographer should not collect sales tax from the customers on any portion of the contract because the photos are delivered outside Washington. The interstate and foreign sales deduction will be used by the photographer when filing their excise tax return.
Example 8: A Tacoma couple hires a local photographer to take pictures at their daughter’s sixteenth birthday party. The birthday party is held at a restaurant in Seattle. After the party, the photographer sends a CD with the finished images to the couple by mail, at their Tacoma address. The Tacoma sales tax rate applies.