Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 23. Taxation
Agency 10. Department Of Taxation
Chapter 210. Retail Sales and Use Tax
2/25/2021

23VAC10-210-3010. Printing.

A. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Administrative supplies" mean, but are not limited to, letterhead, envelopes and other stationery, invoices, billing forms, payroll forms, price lists, time cards, computer cards, certificates, business cards, diplomas and awards. The term also includes supplies for internal use by the purchaser, such as menus, calendars, datebooks, desk reminders, appointment books, employee newsletters, and other house organs.

"Consumer printing" means the production or fabrication of printed matter for one's own use or consumption and not for resale.

"Custom printing" means the production or fabrication of printed matter in accordance with a customer's order of copy for the customer's use or consumption.

"Publisher printing" means the printing of books, newspapers, magazines or other periodicals for sale or resale by the publisher-printer and includes the printing of a "publication" as defined in 23VAC10-210-1060 which is distributed free of charge.

B. Generally. The printing of tangible personal property for sale or resale is deemed to be industrial manufacturing. Therefore, to the extent relevant, the provisions of 23VAC10-210-320 apply to printing except as otherwise noted.

C. Custom printing.

Sales and purchases. Unless otherwise noted, the sale of custom printing represents a taxable sale of tangible personal property. The tax is computed on the total invoice charge made on the transaction. The total invoice charge includes the charge made for any engraved, lithoplated, or other type photoprocessed plate, die, or mat involved in the printing and includes the charge made for printing and imprinting when the customer furnishes the printing stock. The printer must add the amount of the tax to the invoice charge.

Purchases by the printer of items which become part of the printed matter for sale or resale are not subject to the tax. Examples of such property include ink, printing stock, staples, stapling wire, binding twine, and glue. Purchases by the printer of items used directly in the production of tangible personal property for sale or resale are similarly not subject to the tax. Examples of such items include engraved, photoprocessed, lithoplated, or any other type of plate, die or mat, machinery and tools and their replacement parts, blotting papers, drying papers, and typesetting.

D. Consumer printing. Consumer printing is not the production of printed matter for sale or resale. Therefore, the tax applies to all purchases by persons engaged in consumer printing, except as provided in subsections G and H of this section.

E. Publisher printing.

Sales and purchases. A publisher-printer making retail sales of books, etc., must add the tax to the charge. He must register as a dealer and collect and pay the tax. But the sale of any publication issued daily, or regularly at average intervals not exceeding three months is exempt from the tax, except as to the newsstand sales thereof (see 23VAC10-210-1060).

The tax applies to purchases by publisher-printers in the same manner as that set forth in subsection C relating to custom printing. The manufacturing exemption set forth in 23VAC10-210-920 applies to the necessary ancillary activities of newspaper and magazine printing when such activities are performed by the publisher of any newspaper or magazine defined as a publication under 23VAC10-210-1060.

F. Materials furnished to printers. The tax does not apply to paper, ink, and other materials furnished to a printer that will become component or ingredient parts of products fabricated by the printer. Materials, such as photographs and plates, that are furnished by customers, but do not become a part of the printer's finished product, are taxable.

G. Catalogs and other printed advertising materials. The tax does not apply to catalogs and other printed materials when distributed for use outside the state after storage in Virginia for one year or less. The tax also does not apply to the envelopes, containers, and labels used to package and mail the catalogs and printed materials exempted above. This exemption applies to materials printed for one's own use or consumption as well as materials printed for sale or resale, provided that such materials are used outside the state after storage here for less than one year.

For a more detailed description of the statutory exemption for catalogs and other printed advertising materials, including a description of the materials qualifying for exemption, see regulation 23VAC10-210-260.

H. Letters, brochures, reports and similar printed materials. From July 1, 1986, to June 30, 1990, letters, brochures, reports, and similar printed materials (except "administrative supplies" as defined in subsection A of this section, are exempt from the tax when stored for 12 months or less in Virginia and mailed to or distributed outside of Virginia. Neither does the tax apply to the envelopes, containers, and labels used to package and mail the materials exempted as well as materials printed for sale or resale.

Administrative supplies as defined in subsection A of this section, are subject to the tax when sold at retail. The only administrative supplies that are not taxable are those that become an integral part of the exempt printed materials described above and in subsection G of this section. For example, letterhead upon which fundraising or promotional letters are printed, return envelopes enclosed with fundraising letters, and price lists enclosed within catalogs advertising tangible personal property for sale or resale are not taxable.

When stored in Virginia for 12 months or less and mailed to or distributed outside of Virginia, the following printed materials are exempt from the tax:

Fund raising and promotional letters, circulars, folders, brochures, and pamphlets, including those for charitable, political, and religious purposes;

Corporate stockholder meeting notices;

Proxy materials and enclosed proxy cards;

Meeting and convention promotional materials;

A business prospectus;

Corporate monthly, quarterly, and annual stockholder reports;

Announcements, invitations, and informational pieces for external promotional purposes;

Greeting cards, brochures, menus, calendars, datebooks, desk reminders, appointment books, art prints, and posters for external promotional purposes; and

Printed point-of-purchase sales devices, including display racks, animated and action pieces, posters and banners.

The foregoing list is merely illustrative of exempt printed items and is not designed to be all inclusive.

I. Sales of printing to customers outside of Virginia. The sale and delivery of printing from a Virginia printer to a customer outside the Commonwealth is not taxable, provided the conditions set forth in 23VAC10-210-780 on interstate commerce are met. Except as provided in subsections F and G of this section; however, the delivery to a customer of printing in Virginia by any means is taxable. For example, a taxable transaction occurs when an out-of-state customer sends a truck into Virginia to pick up materials sold to him by a Virginia printer. The tax would not be due in a similar situation, however, if the printer shipped the materials to the out-of-state customer by common carrier or the U.S. mail. When a customer purchases printing and directs the printer to ship materials to the customer's business location both within and without Virginia, the tax is applicable only to the materials delivered to the Virginia locations. On the other hand, the tax is applicable in full when printing is delivered to a central storage facility in Virginia for subsequent distribution to facilities outside the Commonwealth, except as otherwise noted in subsections F and G of this section.

J. Sales for resale. Sales of printing to customers for resale by them are not taxable, provided that the printer is furnished a resale exemption certificate by the purchaser. An example of an exempt sale for resale is the sale of labels that will be affixed to canned goods, clothing, or other items of tangible personal property that will be sold to consumers. Also exempt are bags, boxes, and other printed materials used to package products for sale or resale.

K. Photocopying. The sale of photocopies and photostats represents the taxable sale of tangible personal property. "Quick printers" and persons operating photocopy or photostating machines primarily for the reproduction of copy furnished by customers are not industrial manufacturers and are not entitled to exemption from the tax on machinery and tools used in their businesses. Such persons may purchase exempt from the tax only those items, such as paper, that will become ingredient or component parts of the finished products they sell. The application of the tax to photocopying is also described in 23VAC10-210-2050.

For publications, see 23VAC10-210-1060; for manufacturers, see 23VAC10-210-1060; for typesetting, see 23VAC10-210-6020.

Statutory Authority

§§ 58.1-203, 58.1-609.3(2)(v), and 58.1-609.6(4) of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR630-10-86 §§ 1-11; adopted December 2, 1986; amended, eff. February 1, 1987.

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