Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I have been doing the Golden Fine Arts for over 10 years and always paid my sales tax at the end of the show. It was never a big deal and no city licensing was required. The only problem I ever encountered was one year I was told to go to the wrong place to pay by a volunteer. Now because some artists have skipped town with out paying, paperwork for a temporary license and a $50 deposit needs to be paid up front before the show. And to add insult to injury, the town Tax Auditor refers to participants in this upscale show as 'VENDORS". Thanks to all you schmucks who don't pay the sales tax.
The bottom line is DON'T APPLY AS A CORPORATION when you want to do a show in another state. Just make that decision and stick with it. You don't have to operate as a corporation in other states.
I can't imagine needing corporation protection anywhere, anyway. But nobody's riding my art into any arenas, either.
If I was ever sued, heaven forbid, and lawyers found out I had operated outside the corporate umbrella for whatever reason, my goose would be cooked, sliced and diced. A nut case might even try to claim a "faulty spur strap". Now a days you deal with a lot of inexperienced riders who are on a learning curve. I delivered a headstall to one guy with expensive horses and he proceeded to put the bit in the horses mouth BACKWARDS.
A long time ago a promoter sent every exhibitor an email saying that if they were incorporated and going to sign up for a show out of their home state, sign up as yourself, not your corporation. You are legally an employee selling your corporation's products. The main reason is that more and more states are getting around to demanding corporate taxes since the corporation has a "physical presence" (your booth) in that state. Here in Vermont corporations must pay a minimum $250 income tax whether or not they make any money.
That's why I've been a sole proprietor since I started.
I have a Colorado state sales tax license and paying the state sales tax after a show is extremely easy to do online. But, they don't collect for so-called "home rule" cities, which includes every city where I'll be doing a show. Paying the city tax immediately after the show is very convenient. I don't care about a deposit, as long as the excess is refunded. (My art isn't expensive.) What I don't like is having to research how to pay for a city I'll rarely sell in. The online forms don't really seem to apply, and they ask for lots of information that I don't have. In one case, I just filled out part of some form and sent in a check. Haven't heard back, so I assume they are happy.
I must have missed the original thread somewhere about how all this normally works.
(Background: I'm a new artist and I'm going to my first show in October in Texas which is my registered state. I have my sales tax application in and I'm just waiting to receive it back)
I've seen a lot of applications for festivals that state the artist is responsible for paying the state and local taxes themselves. I have yet to see a festival that states we have to pay them at the end of the dates before leaving. As far as Texas goes, I think it's just paying the comptroller quarterly as part of the business process? (Someone help if I've been informed wrong) But how is it supposed to go for those going to out-of-state festivals? I.e. if I applied to Florida's festivals but I'm not registered there?
I get the feeling I'm missing a huge piece of information that everyone's already aware of.