Sales Tax Ruling Related to Professional Organization Memberships

The Tennessee Department of Revenue has ruled that a professional organization’s sales of memberships were not taxable. The organization provided its members with certifications, resources, tools, academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities.

The individual membership included the following: certification status tracking, the ability to download a free copy of the organization’s guide, access to multiple electronic tools and templates, discounts on certifications, access to free on-demand webinars, access to virtual and in-person events, access to the organization’s online job board, access to the organization’s online publications, and exclusive rewards and discounts.

The Department ruled membership in a professional organization is not enumerated as a taxable service and that while some of the membership benefits such as the organization’s guide and pre-recorded webinars would be taxable if sold separately, those benefits to membership did not result in the membership charges becoming taxable because those products were incidental to the sales of the individual memberships.

If you have any questions, please contact the Crosslin tax team at (615) 320-5500. We are here to help!