If you operate a golf course, skating rink, or another kind of recreational or sports facility, you may be subject to the admissions and amusement tax. Recreational or sports facilities are locations that offer team or individual sports activities. Some examples include roller or ice skating rinks, tennis courts, sports fields, indoor volleyball and soccer facilities, paintball facilities, golf courses, and firing ranges.
Taxable activities would include charges for birthday parties, league fees, daily usage fees, and rentals of equipment and rentals of the entire facility.
Charges for the use of bowling alleys and lanes are exempt, as are club memberships allowing unlimited usage of the facilities. Charges for ongoing classes by sports-related schools which are not league-oriented and do not promote one-time use are also exempt from the tax. Examples of this type of sports-related school are gymnastic, karate, and dance schools.
While charges for lessons or instructional fees are not subject to the tax, any charge for the use of the facility where the lesson occurs is taxable. As lesson fees normally include both charges for instruction and use of the facility, the instruction fee may be excluded before the tax is applied.
Equipment rental charges are subject to both the sales tax and the admissions and amusement tax. When they're subject to the sales tax, the admissions and amusement tax rate may not exceed 5 percent. For instance, the county admissions and amusement tax rate might be 8 percent, but only a 5 percent rate would apply to equipment, because the admissions and amusement tax rate and sales tax rate together cannot exceed 11 percent. Examples of rentals subject to both taxes include (but are not limited to) golf carts, golf clubs, roller skates, ice skates, bowling shoes, paintball guns and equipment.
Fees charged for participation in a league are subject to the tax. Fees charged for administering the league and maintaining the facilities and referees are taxable. However, separately-stated charges for trophies, uniforms, or other charges not specifically required for participation in leagues are not subject to the admissions and amusement tax.
If you lease a recreational facility to a person or organization (including tax exempt organizations) for an activity, gross receipts from the activity are subject to the tax unless the person or organization leasing the facility from you will charge for the use of the facility.
As the lessor of the facility, you must notify the Comptroller's Office of the proposed use by contacting the Special Events Section before the activity occurs. You can contact the Special Events Section at 410-767-1540 / 410-767-1531 in the Baltimore area or toll free 1-800-492-1751 from elsewhere in Maryland, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST.
- Correspondence can be sent to:
- Special Events Section
- Compliance Division
- 301 W. Preston Street
- Baltimore, MD 21201-2383