Meet your evolving needs with three integrated business lines in one professional services firm.


Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.

Student on Campus on Laptop

A new digital tax puts the pinch on higher education, nonprofits, and other entities that distribute learning online.

Online Webinars Are Now Taxable Under New Minnesota Digital Sales Tax

  • 11/22/2013

Online Webinars Are Now Taxable Under New Minnesota Digital Sales Tax

A new digital tax puts the pinch on higher education, nonprofits, and other entities that distribute learning online. As defined by the Minnesota Department of Revenue's digital products fact sheet, the sales and use tax is applied to:

  • Digital audio works including digital live or recorded music, songs, speeches, audio books, ring tones, or other sound recordings

Under this definition, a PowerPoint presentation delivered as a webinar would be subject to tax, says Mike Herold, a state and local tax principal with CliftonLarsonAllen. “The Department of Revenue has confirmed this is their interpretation. There are organizations working to have a legislative technical correction made to the statute, but that would be at least six months from now.”

The law is part of a bevy of new tax increases that went into effect on July 1, through the Minnesota omnibus tax bill.

Tax application across state lines

The levy raises other state and local tax issues that higher education organizations may not realize, for instance when learning crosses state lines.

If the University of Phoenix is delivering an online class that originates in Arizona to a student sitting at home in Minneapolis, the tax would apply, says Herold. For those who enroll in schooling or continuing education online, the tax on classes will add up, especially when courses reach $1,000 or more.  

The bill was signed into law in May and became effective July 1, so organizations should be applying the sales tax.

How we can help

We can help you analyze what aspects of your online programs are subject to tax as defined under the law. We can also help you retroactively apply the tax for previously delivered courses.


Mike Herold, Principal, State and Local Tax
mike.herold@CLAconnect.com or 612-376-4548