Procurement Services

Taxable/Non-taxable Commodities

Knowing whether a commodity is taxable or non-taxable can be important in determining whether or not to remove use tax that has been added to an out-of-state FlexCard transaction.

The following table includes the most common commodities that would be encountered as part of FlexCard transactions, divided into broad categories.

Generally, FlexCard purchases are of things, which are taxable – this category appears at the top of the table. Shipping and handling appear at the bottom of the table, since they generally appear at the bottom of an invoice. In between are several broad categories often paid via FlexCard, listed alphabetically.

Please remember that this table is only a general guideline and that there may be exceptions to its division between taxable and non-taxable commodities, depending upon the circumstances of any particular purchase. If you are unsure or have questions concerning a particular transaction, always feel free to contact us at flexcard@purchasing.ucsb.edu or by calling us. If we cannot answer your question, we will refer you to a tax expert in Accounting Services & Controls.

COMMODITY TAXABLE NON-TAXABLE COMMENTS
Tangible Personal Property ("Things") X   Exception: Federal-Title Inventorial (<$5,000) Assets
Gift Cards   X  
Labor - Installation   X  
Labor - Repair   X  
Labor - Fabrication X    
Labor - Assembly X    
Maintenance Contracts - Mandatory X    
Maintenance Contracts - Optional   X IF listed and priced separately on invoice.
Printed Sales Messages (Catalogs, Letters, Circulars, Brochures, Pamphlets)   X

Non-Taxable, if ALL following conditions are met: (1) primary purpose is advertising, (2) printed by special order of the University, (3) mailed/delivered by seller via USPS or common carrier, and (4) received at no cost to participant.

Printing Services X   All printing of non-advertising materials
Purchases for Resale   X

Only applies when University buys tangible personal property which it in turn resells to another entity (for example, the Bookstore) and collects sales tax at the time of the resale.  The University buyer must present the Seller with a Resale Certificate in order to have tax waived.

Services   X  
Delivery/Courier Services   X  
Employment Services   X  
Software - Boxed X  

100% taxable, including license fees, site licensing and other user end fees; also, any mandatory maintenance contracts or consulting services.  Optional maintenance contracts - 50% taxable.

Software - Downloaded   X Including any mandatory or optional maintenance contracts.
Software - Custom   X Including any mandatory or optional maintenance contracts, and any separately stated modification charges.  Boxed software is non-taxable IF THE CUSTOMIZATION INCREASES THE STANDARD COST BY 50% OR MORE.
Subscriptions   X  
Warranties - Mandatory X    
Warranties - Optional   X IF listed and priced separately on invoice.
Shipping   X  
Handling X