The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued an advisory opinion explaining that a taxpayer’s charges for digital marketing services are not subject to sales tax. The taxpayer provides digital marketing services to its customers which allow the customers the ability to track the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. The services provided by the taxpayer included consulting and professional services, digital search marketing support, auction management services, campaign management support services, and email marketing services. The taxpayer’s services often included a license for third-party marketing software. The charges for the license of this software were separately stated on taxpayer’s invoices to its customers. The Department determined that the taxpayer was making sales of an advertising service, which is not subject to New York sales tax. With respect to the software licenses, the Department held that the taxpayer’s resale of the software is a sale of pre-written computer software subject to sales tax. Where the charges for the software are separately stated, on the invoice and the charge is reasonable in relation to the overall charge, only the separately stated charge is subject to sales tax.

Advisory Op. TSB-A-20(27)S, N.Y.S. Dep’t of Tax. & Fin. (June 30, 2020) (Published Dec. 7, 2020).