Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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Annotation 100.0034.360


100.0034.360 Press Check. A graphic designer enters into a contract with a client that provides for the fabrication and sale of final art. The client enters into a separate contract with a printer for the actual printing of the printed matter. Upon completion of the final art by the designer, the designer delivers the final art to the printer, or to the client for redelivery to the printer.

The designer also agrees to perform a service for the client it calls "press check." This service consists of the designer approving the print run prior to the completion of the full order to insure that the final output is optimal in terms of color and shading. The designer in no way directs or supervises the manner in which the printer obtains the optimal results sought by the customer. The designer charges the client, not the printer, an hourly rate for providing this service. The press check is not a required process in the completion of the printed material and is offered as an optional service by the designer for the convenience of the client. The client may purchase the final art without also purchasing press check services.

Since the designer does not perform or supervise fabrication, its press check services do not constitute sales under subdivision (b) or (f) of section 6006. Thus, the charges for the services would generally be taxable only if the client would not purchase the final art without also purchasing the press check. Since the press check is optional and unrelated to the sale of the artwork, it is not part of the sale of the final art and the designer's charges for the press check are not taxable. 11/5/96.