Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

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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99% of my sales are CC purchases. I make sure that I have the correct sales tax percentage for that state in the machine and it is calculated automatically. Hardly anyone complains. If they do, I just tell them the state gets mean if I don't charge the tax. A lot of times people ask for a deal. Unlike others, that doesn't bother me. A good way to give them a deal is to tell them I will pay the sales tax, which means they are getting a 6% discount as opposed to 10% or 20%. It usually works. I have very few cash sales and it isn't an issue. I either do not charge the tax or round it off to a lower number to make things easier. If I take in lets say $100 in cash, I simply divide the amount by 1.06 if the tax is 6% and then subtract that by $100 and that is the tax portion of the sale. Easy peasy.

Thanks everyone for your replies.  With concerns that it might not be legal here in CO, I ended up not including taxes in my prices.

Good call.  It will be easier for you in the long run; and at sales tax time, you won't have to do the math of backing out all the --possibly various-- tax monies for reporting/paying.

Good Luck,

--Chris Fedderson

In Colorado, retail sales taxes at shows I have done ranged from 4.5% to 8.9%. First you will jeed a Special Event License. Then the fun begins. Sales tax can be composed of State, County, City, and then special districts for stadiums, Regional Transportation, and what ever else the politicinas dream up. And, except for the 2.9% State, all are different. In addition, you may be required to buy an annul city license for the weekend show. How you plan  to include this in your price, sounds like the biggest accounting can of worms I have heard of. Set your retai price, collect and pay the sales tax,  go home, sleep well, spend more time producing art than changing prices IMHO. 

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