Sales and Use Tax Issues Within the Construction Industry

March 20, 2024

In this episode of Weaver: Beyond the Numbers, Marc Young, a tax partner at Weaver, is joined by Brandon Hayes, a senior manager in Weaver’s state and local tax group, to review the complex world of sales and use tax issues in the construction industry. They explore this sector’s unique challenges and opportunities, shedding light on the intricacies of tax regulations across different states and focusing on Texas’ distinctive approach to taxing materials in construction projects.

Key Points:

  • Texas allows contractors to act as retailers under separated contracts, enabling tax-free purchases of materials for resale to customers
  • The distinction between lump sum and separated contracts significantly affects how sales and use tax is collected and paid, emphasizing the importance of invoice formatting tax compliance
  • The tax obligation for materials used in construction is determined by the location of the project, not the location of the business or sourced materials


This episode provides an overview of the sales and use tax landscape as it pertains to the construction industry, highlighting the critical differences in tax treatment between Texas and other states. It emphasizes the importance of understanding how contract types and the scope of work can significantly influence tax obligations, offering valuable insights for contractors and businesses operating within this sector.

“Organizations need to be proactive rather than reactive,” Hayes said. “From the customer’s perspective, if . . . you’re going to be expanding an existing facility or you’re going to be repurposing an existing facility, and maybe you have some new construction associated with that, really it would be incumbent to have that contract drawn up as a separated contract.” This underscores the episode’s core message: the critical need for strategic planning and understanding of tax regulations to avoid potential pitfalls.

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