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Special Events

A “special event” is an uncommon, unique, noteworthy, or extra occurrence of a specific activity open to the general public and designed, advertised, or promoted for an identified purpose. The event is to be conducted or held on a designated day or series of days, whether held outdoors, indoors, or both, in a public or private facility at which at least 50 vendors will be present.

Special events include auctions, shows, celebrations, circuses, expositions, exhibits, fairs, festivals, fundraisers, historical re-enactments, movies, pageants, parades, and sporting events, the conduct of which has the effect or intent to draw persons and create an atmosphere or opportunity to sell taxable tangible personal property or services.

An activity that constitutes a “qualified convention or trade show activity” as defined in section 513(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is not a special event. However, participants are liable for sales tax on taxable sales and must file a Form FR-500B.

For additional information on the District’s special events tax filing requirements, please contact Revenue Officers Patricia Richey at (202) 442-6824 or Annette Brown at (202) 442-6593, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:15 am and 4:30 pm. You may also visit the Office of Tax and Revenue Customer Service Center at 1101 4th Street, SW, Suite W270, Washington, DC 20024.