Ann Haar a CPA with Katz & Associates, P.A recently asked the Comptroller of Maryland – Compliance Division how cameras are taxed.
Question: I have general questions regarding the taxation of security cameras. Is the camera taxable to the customer? Is the labor to install the security camera taxable? Is a related service contract taxable?
Answer: Please refer to COMAR 03.06.01.39 C.(4) for information about how a security system is to be treated for sales and use tax purposes:
Equipment that is used to operate or monitor a security system or functions independently as a standalone electronic device whether wired to the system or wireless and is property normally treated as tangible personal property, does not become part of the realty even though it may be used as part of the security system to monitor, secure, and control access to realty. Examples of such equipment include, but are not limited to, computers, laptops, VCRs, DVDs, cameras, monitors, and televisions.
An invoice for the sale of a security system should itemize the charge for items that remain personal property and the vendor must collect and remit sales and use tax on this portion of the bill. A separately stated charge to install an item of equipment is not taxable. However, if the labor includes charges for connecting various components of the system in order to create a complete functioning unit, this is fabrication labor and is subject to tax. For example, charges for labor to attach a bracket to a wall would not be taxable, however, charges to attach an item to a cable or wire that then attaches to other items of equipment would be taxable fabrication labor.
Under Maryland law, a charge for a security system service is a taxable service in this state (Md. Tax-General Article §11-101 (m) (10)(ii)). The 6% sales and use tax applies to all charges for this type of service.
If you have additional questions after reviewing this information, please contact me.
Janet V. Johnson, Assistant State Comptroller
Comptroller of Maryland – Compliance Division
301 West Preston Street, Room 203
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
For More Information Contact
Ann Haar, CPA
Katz & Associates, P.A.
1777 Reisterstown Road, Suite 40
Baltimore, MD 21208