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Good afternoon!  In just over two weeks I'll be at my very first show, and I have a question for veterans here about taxes.

I am working on pricing and signage, and I have considered including taxes in my pricing.  On the one hand, doing so would make at least cash sales easier, as it would reduce my need to deal with change (yay!); on the other, my displayed prices would be higher and might discourage sales.  Additionally, it's apparently illegal in some states (unsure of mine, CO, and have been unsuccessful in getting an answer) and may require disclosures that could make for ugly signage and/or receipts.

If anyone's wondering, I'm not trying to get out of paying taxes; I have a regular retail license and also a multiple event license.  I'm just trying to make my life easier if it's legal and isn't a detriment to sales.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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Following...  I'm wondering the same for the same reasons.

For what it's worth, I do not include tax in my pricing.  However, when running a credit card I do make sure that the buyer understands/confirms the total they will see on their cc statement.  In other words, I point out the tax I am collecting on behalf of their governor.

To your point about dealing with making cash change, unless you are selling items under $50.00, it will be rare for you to receive cash.  I can count on one hand how many times I have received cash over the 5 years I have been doing shows.  

Hello Jeri,

re.: "...on behalf of their govenor." ... YEA that you make the distinction. I get so [internally] annoyed when customers say, with incredulity, "you charge tax?!?!". No, I don't. Your state does. And, believe me, it's no bonus to me that I'm now tasked with all the bookkeeping!

--Chris Fedderson

On the other hand....

I've been at high end shows (Sausalito was one) where wealthy clients/collectors roam the aisles with pockets full of hundreds and fifties to try to use as a bargaining chip to get cash deals.

I lost an $800 sale because one man's constant wheedling pissed me off.  I did offer to pay his substantial sales tax but that wasn't enough for him.  He was in disbelief that I didn't take him up on his offer and that I meant it when I said I don't lower the price of my work.  The show turned out, in the end, to be mediocre for me at best, but I left feeling good about not getting into that man's demeaning bargaining game.  I sold that piece at the next show.

Yo T [it just seemed right  ;-> ],

I do not include tax in my prices. I asume, since you wrote: "'s apparently illegal in some states...", that you work in multiple states [or even counties], with their differing rates... do you want to need to make all new signage for every rate change?!

Also, if you ever "work with" a customer on price, having it all-inclusive in your signage will really complicate that function.

--Chris Fedderson

If you do shows in multiple states, that would mean you're going to have to change your prices for every show.  So much for simplifying your bookkeeping.

Much better to be clear to the customer what is your price and what is the tax.

Trust me, you'll get used to it just fine.

Hi CC, [sorry, I used up all my "Yo" allowance  ;->  ],

Yes -- "Much better to be clear to the customer...".  Also, this is the reason behind the laws against including tax into the price -- unless it is also clearly delineated -- all the consumer honesty falderol :-d  [that's my tongue in my cheek].

Sometimes, during "working with" a customer who wants an unwarrented discount, I'll offer to pay their sales tax for them, so now I'm giving a +/- 6% discount instead of the much heftier one they think they deserve and they invariably go for it. Would be much harder to do with an all-in-one price.

--Chris Fedderson

Hey Chris,

I've done the same - many times.  I don't ever discount the prices for my work (a very slippery slope imo) so offering to pay the tax is clean - gives the customer satisfaction that they've gotten a 'deal,' and leaves your own price structure intact.

Here's where I landed on this issue. I do not charge tax for cash transactions but I do for credit cards. For me, I prefer to keep my cash transactions simple so I can move on to deal with other customers, and I save a little on the credit card fees. Square makes it easy to charge tax (plus their own fees!) and I don't have to make change in my head when I'm distracted! Good luck with everything! 


Wise Owl Artworks 

I have done it both ways, charged tax and also at one time included it in the price.  For all the reasons listed so far, I prefer not to include it.

We do not want to deal with coins, so... If someone is paying with cash and their total is not an even dollar amount, we just tell them not to worry about the coinage.  Sometimes they insist on giving us the coins but more than half just say "thanks!"

Since most people pay with a card, we do not carry lots of cash for change.  Usually no more than $150 split between ones, fives and tens.  So for us the cash bag is not a huge amount of money but still something we are careful with.

I don't include tax in my prices as I would rather deal with figuring out the tax than have all of my selling items taken away from me if I get caught.  I heard that the area I live in is strict, (South East PA and NJ) although I have have never seen anyone auditing the area.  Not worth it to take a chance!

I include the tax in all my sales. No way am I dealing with coin change! I have a sign attached to my sales tax license that states this. It is legal in my state (NY). All of my sales receipts have a line item for tax worked out backwards from the cost I charged the customer. I've not had any issues.


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