Tax Overview

On behalf of our members, MPA remains actively engaged on two main tax issues. We strongly advocate against taxation on magazines at the state level, believing it is bad public policy. This includes all print and digital magazines sold at the newsstand, online or by subscription. On the federal level, the tax treatment of advertising expenses – which are currently fully deductible as an ‘ordinary and necessary’ business expense – is of paramount importance to the magazine media industry. MPA took a leading role defending the current tax treatment of advertising in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,  and will continue to monitor all federal tax proposals carefully to ensure they are fair and do not place excessive, unfair taxes on magazine publishers.

Why it Matters to MPA and Our Members:

  • Regarding tax issues at the state level, MPA members publish national publications that serve a print and digital consumer base in all 50 states. Because states tax at different rates, it becomes virtually impossible to collect varying sales tax rates, causing an undue burden on the publisher and ultimately hindering interstate commerce.
  • On the federal level, MPA is particularly focused on the tax treatment of advertising. Advertising is the lifeblood of the magazine industry, and while reliance on advertising varies by publisher, it can represent up to 75% of the industry’s annual revenue. Advertising is the single largest revenue source for most MPA members.
  • Imposing a tax on advertising will directly reduce the largest revenue source of our industry. A decrease in advertising revenue would inflict severe financial harm to our members and all other media entities that are already under financial stress in a variety of ways
  • Taxing advertising decreases advertising budgets which in turn decreases purchase activity driven by advertising. This undermines the goal of tax reform – to stimulate economic growth.
  • The consequences of taxing advertising would ripple through the entire economy from media companies, advertisers and their agencies to the multitude of industries – including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, finance, housing, retail trade and construction – that depend on advertising to move their products and services.

Helpful Links and Resources: 


MPA DC Staff Contacts: 
Rita Cohen: rcohen@magazine.org
Mary Holland Henry: mhenry@magazine.org