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Currently, under Indiana law, wedding photography is a taxable service. Your photographer is required to collect sales tax from each client as a percentage of the entire sale amount and remit it to the state treasury at specific intervals. Contrary to what I've heard some people say, the photographer doesn't get to keep it. They're only acting as an agent of the state.

The photographer is required to purchase a Vendors Permit from the county that the business resides in. Without this permit, there's no way to legally collect sales tax from a customer. The photographer should be able to produce their permit for inspection if you ask to see it. If they can't...think hard before giving them any money. There's a good chance that they're "flying under the radar" in an attempt to avoid taxes, and if they're caught...you will be looking for a new photographer. The state takes such things very seriously.

Also...the sales tax you pay to the photographer must be listed as a line item on any contract or order form. The customer has to be made aware of the amount of sales tax they're paying. If the photographer claims to "include it in the price", be wary. That's a practice prohibited by the state. Now there are some instances where no sales tax needs to be collected. An out of state sale is one example. If the product (your photographs) is shipped to an address in a state other than Indiana...the photographer is not required to collect Indiana sales tax.

Each year, there are a number of photographers who are forced to close up shop because they got caught playing fast and loose with the tax laws of Indiana. More than a few brides have found themselves without a photographer...and the money they paid them.

Always be sure that you're dealing with a legitimate business. Don't be afraid to ask to see their Vendors Permit, and don't be afraid to walk away if they don't have one.