Product and Service Warranties and Software Maintenance Contracts: Navigating Divergent State Sales Tax Treatment

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A live 110-minute CPE webinar with interactive Q&A

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Thursday, February 3, 2022 (in 7 days)

1:00pm-2:50pm EST, 10:00am-11:50am PST

This course will provide tax professionals with a detailed update on the latest state tax developments and trends for multistate companies buying or selling warranties. The panelist will offer compliance approaches to adjust to multistate developments.


Whether a company acts as buyer or seller, sales of warranties or maintenance contracts covering various products (along with associated labor and parts) are an area of state sales tax policy with considerable variation and confusion for multistate corporations.

Many states tax a service agreement that purchasers must buy with a product, while an optional warranty is exempt. However, optional software maintenance agreements often are handled differently. Sales tax on parts and labor may depend on whether the warranty is mandatory or optional and who backs it.

Depending on the state, buyers and sellers may need to consider whether the "true object" of a warranty contract sale was a product or service, whether the deductible for warranted repairs is taxable, and whether withdrawal of repair parts from inventory constitutes a taxable sale.

Listen as our experienced state tax adviser provides a practical guide to the latest developments in state sales tax treatment of warranties to manage this complex aspect of multistate sales tax compliance effectively.



  1. General state tax issues with warranties
    1. Treatment of mandatory vs. optional warranties
    2. Handling of contracts covering physical products vs. software
    3. Special issues with extended warranties
    4. Taxability or exemption of parts and labor
  2. More complex matters with warranties
    1. States that impose "true object" tests
    2. When and where using a third-party warranty administrator can trigger sales tax nexus
    3. Handling of inventory withdrawals of repair parts
    4. Taxability of deductibles
  3. Specific large state examples
  4. Options for adjusting a multistate tax compliance strategy


The panelist will bring you current on these and other critical areas:

  • Variations among states' sales tax policies covering mandatory vs. optional or extended warranties
  • Software maintenance agreements: which states opt to treat service contracts differently when they cover software vs. a tangible product
  • Potential nexus traps: when using a third-party warranty administrator can create state sales tax duties for your company
  • Current hot topics: impact of state court and administrative rulings; issues such as extended warranties purchased online


Myers, Melissa
Melissa Myers, CMI
Managing Director, SALT, Sales & Use Tax

Ms. Myers has more than 17 years experience in the sales and use tax field. As a Sales & Use Tax Managing Director...  |  Read More