Facility/Event Admission Fees

Under current law, charges for the right of entrance to a display, program, sporting event, music concert, performance, play, show, movie, exhibit, fair, or other entertainment event or amusement are subject to the 6% Kentucky sales tax.

Effective July 1, 2018, examples of the additional types of admissions also becoming taxable are charges for the privilege of using facilities or participating in events or activities such as:

  1. Bowling centers,
  2. Skating rinks,
  3. Health spas,
  4. Swimming pools,
  5. Tennis courts,
  6. Weight training facilities,
  7. Fitness and recreational sports centers, and
  8. Golf courses (both public and private).

These admissions are taxable regardless of whether the fee paid is per use or in any other form, including but not limited to: an initiation fee, monthly fee, membership fee, or any combination of these.

*Admission to racetracks taxed under KRS 138.480, historical sites exempt under KRS 139.482, and the part of admissions to county fairs exempt under KRS 139.470 are exempt from sales tax by statute.

How should nonprofit organizations (charitable, educational, and religious 501(c)(3) groups) handle sales of admissions to various athletic events and cultural programs (expanded taxable admissions July 1, 2018, forward)?

Non-profit 501(c)(3) groups must collect sales tax on their charges for all categories of taxable admissions for periods beginning July 1, 2018, forward.  The Kentucky Supreme Court recently held that the Ky. Const. Section 170 exemption for charitable institutions applied only to property taxes and not to excise taxes (sales and use tax). The only sales tax exemptions for 501(c)(3) charitable, educational, and religious organizations are those explicitly listed in KRS Chapter 139.

Except for the very narrow exemptions for horse racetracks, historical sites, county fairs, elementary and secondary schools, and non-profit 501(c)(3) school-sponsored clubs and organizations, all other entities engaged in sales of admissions must begin collecting tax on these sales.

How should nonprofit organizations (charitable, educational, and religious 501(c)(3) groups) handle charges for participatory admissions or use of facilities (expanded taxable admissions July 1, 2018, forward)?

Non-profit 501(c)(3) groups must collect sales tax on their charges for all categories of taxable admissions for periods beginning July 1, 2018, forward.

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently held that the Ky. Const. Section 170 exemption for charitable institutions applied only to property taxes and not to excise taxes (sales and use tax). The only sales tax exemptions for 501(c)(3) charitable, educational, and religious organizations are those explicitly listed in KRS Chapter 139.

Except for the very narrow exemptions for horse racetracks, historical sites, county fairs, elementary and secondary schools, and non-profit 501(c)(3) school-sponsored clubs and organizations, all other entities engaged in sales of admissions must begin collecting tax on these sales.

Are sales of admissions to athletic events or other retail sales by elementary or secondary schools or their school-affiliated groups subject to sales tax?

‚ÄčNo, as long as the net proceeds from the sales are used solely for the benefit of the elementary or secondary school or its students. See KRS 139.497 for more information.


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