Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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Annotation 295.1538


295.1538 Membership Fee—Board of Realtors. A Board of Realtors charges its members a one-time fee to become a member. The member must then pay an additional "membership fee" each month which allows the customer access to an on-line data base of listed properties (extracts of which may be downloaded) and the right to purchase Multiple Listing Service (MLS) publications which are billed separately.

The nonprofit organization also governs the ethical and professional, conduct of its members and takes complaints on such issues. It also provides education for realtors and issues all legal briefs issued by the state and federal authorities.

Based on the extensive services provided by the Board of Realtors, it is concluded that the membership fees are not related to the anticipated retail transactions (sale of MLS publications). The true object of the membership fee is for the services provided by the Board of Realtors, and the right to purchase certain products is a nominal benefit. The membership fee should not be included in the measure of tax for the publications. 2/27/96.