By Nicole Boutros and Pilar Mata

The Texas Comptroller determined that a taxpayer’s “digitizing” services provided to oil and gas industry clients were taxable data processing services for Texas sales and use tax purposes. The services at issue consisted of taking well log data from the client; analyzing, manipulating and interpreting such data; and providing the output of the data. The taxpayer argued such services were not taxable because they fell under an exception that excludes the use of a computer to facilitate “the application of the knowledge of the physical sciences…E.G., the use of a computer to provide interpretive or enhancement geophysical services” from the definition of taxable data processing. The Comptroller, however, disagreed and held that the taxpayer was processing client data for the purpose of providing the data to its client in a requested format and that such data extraction, manipulation, storage and conversion constituted a taxable data processing service under Texas law. Tex. Comp. Dec. 108,154 (Dec. 12, 2013).