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61 Pa. Code § 31.29. Books, publications and advertising materials.

§ 31.29. Books, publications and advertising materials.

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

   Advertising insert—Printed advertising material that is circulated with another publication.

   Advertising literature or materials—Tangible personal property that is intended to promote business interest, create goodwill or engage the attention or interest of a recipient.

     (i)   The term includes printed matter, brochures, matchbooks, calendars, price lists, video and audio tapes, computer disks, investment prospectuses, financial and corporate annual reports, electoral literature or materials, playing cards, envelopes, address labels, reply envelopes, application forms, pens and similar promotional materials.

     (ii)   The term does not include proxy materials.

   Circulated among the general public—Made available for purchase from a retail outlet, such as a newsstand or bookstore, or made available for purchase by subscription. In the case of an organizational publication, the publication will be considered to be circulated among the general public only if there are regular sales of the publication to purchasers other than members of the organization.

   Direct mail advertising literature or materials—Advertising literature or materials that are distributed directly to intended recipients through the United States Postal Service. The term does not include advertising literature or materials that are distributed in a manner other than by the United States Postal Service.

   Magazine—A publication that is published at regular intervals not exceeding 3 months, that is circulated among the general public, and contains matters of general interest and reports of current events that are published for the purpose of disseminating information of a public character or is devoted to literature, the sciences, art or some special industry. The term does not include loose leaf information services.

   Mail order catalogue—A publication that contains a listing of items with descriptive details and includes a mail order form and is distributed through the United States Postal Service.

   Newspaper—A ‘‘legal newspaper’’ or a publication containing matters of general interest and reports of current events that qualifies as a ‘‘newspaper of general circulation’’ authorized to carry a ‘‘legal advertisement’’ as those terms are defined in 45 Pa.C.S. §  101 (relating to legal notices). The term does not include magazines.

   Publication—Information transferred by means of tangible media.

     (i)   Examples include printed material, such as books; financial and corporate annual reports; investment prospectuses; proxy materials; shopping guides; magazines; tabloid newspapers; and printed material that may supplement, explain, amend, revise or otherwise alter, expand or render current a looseleaf information service, or a book or bound volumes of books previously issued, including a supplement or pocket part, whether the additional material is periodically distributed or purchased independently of the basic book to which it is applicable.

     (ii)   The term also includes video and audio tapes, computer disks and similar items.

   Religious publication—Religious commentaries and other publications primarily devoted to religious instruction, promotion or information.

   Shopping guide—A publication primarily devoted to consumer awareness, promotion or information and that is generally provided to a consumer free of charge.

   Subscription—The advance purchase of a series of issues of a magazine delivered by the publisher to an address designated by the purchaser.

     (i)   The term includes a series of magazines provided by an organization to its members in consideration of the payment of membership dues, provided the magazine is also sold by subscription or by individual copy to the public.

     (ii)   The term does not include a purchase of an issue or series of issues of a magazine from a person other than the publisher.

   Textbook—A new or used book that is required or approved for use in conjunction with an educational curriculum provided by an institution of learning recognized by the Department of Education.

 (b)  Scope.

   (1)  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the sale at retail or use of publications, advertising inserts, Bibles, religious publications, including religious publications sold by religious organizations and advertising literature or materials is subject to tax when delivered to a location within this Commonwealth.

   (2)  The sale at retail or use of the following items is exempt from tax:

     (i)   Mail order catalogs.

     (ii)   Direct mail advertising literature or materials. See §  32.36 (relating to printing and related businesses).

     (iii)   Textbooks.

     (iv)   Newspapers.

     (v)   Magazines sold by subscription.

     (vi)   Advertising inserts that become a part of a newspaper or magazine.

     (vii)   One time license fees paid for the use of a listing of names and mailing addresses for each delivery of direct mail advertising literature or materials.


   The provisions of this §  31.29 amended under section 270 of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 (72 P. S. §  7270).


   The provisions of this §  31.29 amended March 29, 1974, effective March 30, 1974, 4 Pa.B. 581; amended April 5, 1985, effective April 6, 1985, 15 Pa.B. 1260; amended March 19, 1993, effective March 20, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 1322; amended March 24, 2000, effective March 25, 2000, 30 Pa.B. 1654. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (179232) to (179233).

Cross References

   This section cited in 61 Pa. Code §  31.21 (relating to advertising agencies); and 61 Pa. Code §  32.36 (relating to printing and related businesses).

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