Conference Registration Fees Taxable

Are Conference Registration Fees Taxable?

Planning and executing an event or Conference is a financially intensive process. All parties involved, especially the host and the conference attendees, must consider a series of factors. Before signing up for such events, whether in-person, virtual, or a hybrid conference.

What do you need to know about the Conference registration fee?

As said above, hosting a conference involves finances, so to bear such burden, ticket fees or registration charges, also termed conference registration charges, are expected from the attendees. This conference registration fee can be charged through an online platform, at a designated physical location, or at the event’s entry. When attending a conference online, attendees need to sign up, make the payment, and follow the protocols exclusive to that platform.

A registration fee must be charged to the attendees for the following reasons:

  • Allows you to offer a higher-quality event experience for the attendees
  • It makes your event seem more valuable and informative
  • Encourage more people to attend your event
  • It makes it easier to promote an event for future plans. 

Now, the one nuanced question with several underlying factors that arise here:

Are Conference Registration Fees Taxable?

This question cannot be answered without bringing into the picture the various implications related to tax when we are talking about digital profits out of such conferences. 

To understand the intricacies, we need to observe the online conference registration fee cycle in detail:

  • Event setup: The host, typically an organization, decides upon the event to set up an online registration system. Various event management platforms like Eventzilla, Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, or a custom-built registration website handle such an event or Conference.
  • Promotion of the event: The organization hosting the Conference promotes it on several social media to get attendees on the registration page. 
  • Attendees registration: Next up, the attendees land on the registration page and sign up for the Conference. Personal information of the attendees is acquired here.
  • Payment processing: The attendees make the fee payment for the Conference using methods such as debit card/credit card, PayPal, etc. These payment processors ensure the validity of the payments.
  • Authorization and confirmation: Once the payment goes through the authorization process, a confirmation mail is sent to the attendees with Conference details.
  • Funds settlement for the host: The host receives the registration fees minus any fees charged by the payment processor and the event platform after the fee has been held for a specific settlement period. 
  • Event Execution: The attendee then attends the event on the scheduled date and time.

Now that you know the online registration fee cycle, we will explore the tax implications for virtual and hybrid conferences. For that, a series of questions must be answered to understand how taxes are charged on conference registration fees.

Question #1: What sort of a conference is it?

The nature of the Conference also decides upon the sales tax that the state might impose. Conferences are held solely for information, whereas others are conducted for entertainment. A state could determine the Conference for entertainment, which is then taxable. Educational or informative conferences are nontaxable. So, the organization or hosting platform would have to choose the Conference’s classification before deciding on whether or not to charge sales tax.

Question #2: How much money is expected to be made from the conference, and how many attendees are there? 

In the U.S., it is crucial to familiarize ourselves with an economic nexus to ensure we are in line with state taxation requirements when charging registration fees. An economic nexus means the maximum number of gross receipts or transactions a business can have. 

Every state has a distinct threshold, just like they all have different sales tax rates, but the most typical caps are $100,000 in receipts and/or 200 transactions. Therefore, you’re probably okay if you have a short webinar that costs $50 per participant and has a 100-person capacity. Make sure your registration system is ready if your Conference draws hundreds or thousands of online viewers from around the United States.

Question #3: What is the sales tax for hybrid conference events?

Hybrid events are not subject to any additional tax regulations. In-person events with a virtual component are called hybrid events. Therefore, the fees for physical attendees will be taxed under the jurisdiction where the event is being held. In contrast, the payments for virtual attendees will probably be taxed under the jurisdiction where the people are located. 

Question #4: What is the sales tax for in-person conference events?

The state in which the event is held will impose taxes on in-person conferences. Therefore, the tax regulations of that specific state (or, occasionally, the particular county within the state) apply. Even though some services, such as events, are not taxable, the majority of TPP (tangible personal property) is, and naturally, this will vary from state to state. It would always help to categorize your invoice because not all services are taxable. When you itemize your invoice, you can just charge tax on the things considered taxable (for example, if the event itself is not taxable but the t-shirt is) rather than the total invoice. 

How can Conference registration software be appropriately utilized?

A reliable and popular conference registration software, just like the one offered by Eventzilla, makes the whole process easy and beneficial for all the attendees. A conference registration software can be utilized properly if it provides the following benefits:

  • Responsive Conference registration page
  • Embed registration form
  • Custom registration form
  • Improve registration via marketing and promotions.
  • Engage effectively with remote attendees.


Coming across a conference registration system that makes the process easy for potential attendees is quite a task. But with platforms like EventZilla, conferences become easy to host, engage with attendees, and grow their business.

Vanitha Rajendran

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