The local admissions and amusement tax is a tax on the gross receipts from admissions, the use or rental of recreational or sports equipment and the sale of merchandise, refreshments or service at a night club or similar place where entertainment is provided. The tax is imposed by Maryland's counties and municipalities as well as an additional tax by the state of Maryland, specifically for electronic bingo and electronic tip jars.
The admissions and amusement tax is collected by the State Comptroller's Office. The entire amount of the tax collected, less administrative expenses, is returned to the municipalities and counties imposing the local tax. The new state admissions and amusement tax revenue on electronic bingo and electronic tip jars is directed to the state's general fund.
Unlike the sales and use tax, which is imposed on the person making the purchase, the admissions and amusement tax is imposed on the person or business receiving the taxable receipts. For this reason, you are not required to impose a separate charge on the consumer for this tax as you would to collect the sales tax.
Also unlike the sales and use tax, exemption certificates are not valid for the admissions and amusement tax. Since the tax is imposed on the host of the activity rather than on the consumer, the exemption does not apply.
Generally, deductions for prizes, cost of goods sold and other expenses are not permitted since the admissions and amusement tax is a gross receipts tax and not an income tax permitting the deduction of expenses. The only exception is in Anne Arundel County (outside of any municipality) where the cost of prizes in bingo games may be deducted before computing the tax.
If all of the proceeds from an activity are donated to a charity, the gross receipts are exempt from the admissions and amusement tax. Also, the gross receipts from sales of tickets to political fund-raisers are not subject to tax.