Live Entertainment Tax & FAQ’s


What you need to know about Nevada's Live Entertainment Tax

Enacted in 2004, Live Entertainment Tax is administered by two State agencies, the Gaming Control Board for live entertainment events held within licensed gaming establishments; and the Department of Taxation for live entertainment events held in other venues and live entertainment provided by escorts and escort services. Laws governing the Live Entertainment Tax are Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 368A -Tax on Live Entertainment; and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) Chapter 368A. Both can be found on the Nevada Legislature's website at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/.

If you are a licensed gaming establishment please refer to the Nevada Gaming Control Board website at http://gaming.nv.gov for additional information.

    How is Live Entertainment defined?

    Live Entertainment is defined by statute as meaning any activity provided for pleasure, enjoyment, recreation, relaxation, diversion or other similar purpose by a person or persons who are physically present when providing an activity to a patron or group of patrons who are physically present. It includes without limitation one or more of the following:

    ·         Music or vocals provided by one or more professional or amateur musicians or vocalists;

    ·         Dancing performed by one or more professional or amateur dancers or performers, including, without limitation dancing performed by one or more persons who are nude or partially nude;

    ·         Acting or drama provided by one or more professional or amateur actors or players;

    ·         Acrobatics or stunts provided by one or more professional or amateur acrobats, performers or stunt persons;

    ·         Animal stunts or performances induced by one or more animal handlers or trainers, except animal behaviors induced by animal trainers or caretakers primarily for the purpose of education and scientific research;

    ·         Athletic or sporting contests, events or exhibitions provided by one or more professional or amateur athletes or sportsmen except an athletic contest event or exhibition conducted by a professional team based in this State if the professional team based in this State is a participant in the contest, event or exhibition.  

    ·         Comedy or magic provided by one or more professional or amateur comedians, magicians, illusionists, entertainers or performers.

    ·         A show or production involving any combination of the activities described above.

    ·         A performance by a disc jockey who presents recorded music.

    ·         An escort who is escorting one or more persons at a location or locations in this State.

    It excludes the following:

    ·         Television, radio, closed circuit or Internet broadcasts of live entertainment.

    ·         Entertainment provided by a patron or patrons, including, without limitation, singing by patrons or dancing by or between patrons if they receive no compensation from any source for providing the entertainment.

    ·         An activity that is an uncompensated, spontaneous performance that is not longer than 20 minutes during a 60-minute period;

    ·         An activity described in the section above that does not constitute a performance, including, without limitation, go-go dancing; or

    ·         Marketing or promotional activities, including, without limitation, dancing or singing that is for a period that does not exceed 20 minutes during a 60-minute period and that is associated with the serving of food and beverages, for example bartenders, waiters or waitress.

      Who is responsible for this tax?

      NRS 368A.110 defines the taxpayer for non-gaming facilities as the owner or operator of the facility where the live entertainment is provided; or in the case of a publicly owned facility or public land, the person who collects the taxable receipts.  It also includes an escort or escort service.  An escort means a person who, for monetary consideration, in the form of a fee, commission or salary, dates, socializes, visits, consorts with or accompanies another or others to or about social affairs, entertainments or places of amusement or within any place of public resort or within any private quarters.  An escort service means a person who for a fee, commission, profit, payment or other monetary consideration, furnishes, refers, or offers to furnish or refer an escort to a patron.

      It does not include a person who advertises, or works as an employee, agent or independent contractor for a person who advertises that sexual conduct will be provided to a patron, or who solicits, offers to provide or provides acts of sexual conduct to a patron.

        What are the Live Entertainment Tax rates?

        Effective October 1, 2015 the rate is 9% of the admission charge to a facility that provides live entertainment with a minimum occupancy of 200; or 9% of the charge, expressed in money, for the live entertainment provided by an escort.

        Prior to October 1, 2015 the Live Entertainment Tax was two tiered with a 10% tax rate and a 5% tax rate based upon the "maximum occupancy" of the facility where live entertainment was taking place. For a facility with a minimum occupancy of 200and a maximum of 7,499 the 10% tax rate applied to the admission charge, merchandise, food and refreshments sold at the event. For facilities with occupancy of 7,500 or more, the 5% tax rate applied to admission charges only.

          Does the existence of an admission charge automatically trigger the Live Entertainment Tax?

          No. If there is no live entertainment being provided, then the tax does not apply. However, when the admission charge is imposed prior to the start of live entertainment, the admission charge is taxable.

            How is “maximum occupancy” determined?

            The “maximum occupancy” of the facility where the live entertainment is taking place is determined by using the following criteria in order of priority: a) The maximum occupancy established for the facility by the State Fire Marshall, or by another local government agency; b) If the facility occupancy is not established, then by the maximum occupancy designated on any permits required for the event; or c) If such a permit does not designate the maximum occupancy of the facility, the actual seating capacity of the facility will be used.

              What is the registration fee for Live Entertainment Tax?

              There is no registration fee for this tax. A taxpayer who intends to provide live entertainment at a facility that is not in a licensed gaming establishment or an escort or escort service shall contact the Department of Taxation and register to collect and remit the Live Entertainment Tax.

                What is the reporting frequency for Live Entertainment Tax?

                The reporting frequency is monthly. The Live Entertainment Tax returns should be filed on or before the last day of the month, reporting the amount of taxable receipts for the preceding month. A return must be filed even when there are no live entertainment events in the month and the tax is zero.

                  Can a taxpayer charge their patrons the Live Entertainment Tax they are required to pay?

                  Yes. The Live Entertainment Tax must be added to and collected from the purchaser at the time of purchase or payment of escort services. Each ticket for admission to a facility where live entertainment is provided must show on its face the admission charge or the seller of the admission must prominently display a notice disclosing the admission charge at the box office or other place where the charge is made.  Taxpayers are required to keep their records for at least 4 years.

                    Are there any Live Entertainment events not subject to the tax?

                    Yes:

                    ·         Live entertainment that is governed by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association pursuant to NRS 386.420 to 386.470, inclusive, or is provided or sponsored by an elementary school, junior high school, middle school or high school, if only pupils or faculty provide the live entertainment.

                    ·         An athletic contest, event, tournament or exhibition provided by an institution of the Nevada System of Higher Education, if students of such an institution are contestants in the contest, event, tournament or exhibition.

                    ·         Live entertainment that is provided by or entirely for the benefit of a nonprofit religious, charitable, fraternal or other organization that qualifies as a tax-exempt organization pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 501(c), or a nonprofit corporation organized or existing under the provisions of chapter 82 of NRS only if the number of tickets to the live entertainment which are offered for sale or other distribution to patrons, either directly or indirectly through a partner, subsidiary, client, affiliate or other collaborator, is less than 7,500.

                    ·         Any boxing contest or exhibition governed by the provisions of chapter 467 of NRS.

                    ·         Live entertainment that is provided at a facility with a maximum occupancy of less than 200 persons unless the live entertainment is provided by an escort.

                    ·         Live entertainment that is provided at a trade show.

                    ·         Music performed by musicians who move constantly through the audience if no other form of live entertainment is afforded to the patrons.

                    ·         Live entertainment that is provided in the common area of a shopping mall, whether indoors or out, unless the entertainment is provided in a facility located within the mall.

                    ·         Food and product demonstrations provided at a shopping mall, a craft show or an establishment that sells grocery products, housewares, hardware or other supplies for the home.

                    ·         Live entertainment that is incidental to an amusement ride, a motion simulator or a similar digital, electronic, mechanical or electromechanical attraction.

                    ·         A racescheduled at a race track in this State and sanctioned bythe National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, if two or more such races are held at that race track during the same calendar year.

                    ·         An athletic contest, event or exhibition conducted by a professional team based in this State if the professional team based in this State is a participant in the contest, event or exhibition.

                      What special steps should a taxpayer take if they intend to consider an event exempt from the Live Entertainment Tax?

                      NRS 368A.200 (4)(d) provides guidance as to when an event is not subject to the tax because the proceeds go to a qualifying organization and less than 7500 tickets are offered for sale. The taxpayer is responsible to ensure a non-profit organization qualifies for exempt status from Live Entertainment Tax. If it is subsequently determined that the taxpayer failed to pay taxes on an event that was improperly treated as a non-profit benefit, the Live Entertainment Tax will be assessed on all admissions.

                      Taxpayers must maintain records showing they were entitled to exempt a non-profit organization from Live Entertainment Tax. Taxpayers are responsible for ensuring that the organization qualifies as a non-profit entity and qualifies for exemption from Live Entertainment Tax because less than 7,500 tickets are offered for sale. In addition, the taxpayer must keep detailed records showing the amounts collected, the amounts remitted to the non-profit organization, and the direct supportable costs associated with the event. A copy of the agreement between the taxpayer and the qualifying organization must also be maintained. NAC 368A.160

                        What is included in a taxable admission charge?

                        The full amount paid for access to a live entertainment venue is included in the taxable admission charge including any service charge that is received by the taxpayer. It includes the full amount received by an escort or escort service. NRS 368A.200(2)(b) and NAC 368A.150 allow a deduction for gratuities directly or indirectly remitted to persons employed at the facility where live entertainment is provided and a service charge imposed in connection with the use of a credit card or debit card which is collected and retained by persons other than the taxpayer, as long as these fees are supported by documentation. Also excluded are amounts imposed and retained by a ticket broker or a ticket service provider.

                          Are speeches by motivational, informational or political speakers considered Live Entertainment?

                          No, unless the speaker engages in other activities considered live entertainment.

                            Are circuses Live Entertainment?

                            Yes, a circus typically combines a number of activities specifically defined as live entertainment in NRS 368A.090(2)(a). 

                              In an event that has been determined to have entertainment that is not considered “Live Entertainment” under the definition found in NRS 368A.090, what if someone sings a song such as the National Anthem as part of the event? Is the event now taxable?

                              No, in most cases. While it is true that singing is a form of live entertainment, in most cases the singing of the National Anthem or similar presentation, is entirely incidental to the event itself. While this specific issue is not addressed in the law or regulation, the informal policy stated herein conforms to the concept stated in NRS 368A.090(2)(b) regarding performances that are not considered live entertainment. This guidance applies only to the cases where any singing remains incidental to the event. Generally, singing will be deemed incidental to the event if only one song is sung during an event that otherwise included no other live entertainment.