Two weeks ago I wrote about whether yoga classes held in New York City are subject to sales tax.
Perhaps the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance took notice, because one week later the Department issued a tax bulletin clarifying its interpretation of the sales tax law as applied to yoga classes in NYC:
Facilities in New York City that offer only instruction in various yoga disciplines are not considered to be weight control salons, health salons, or gymnasiums. As a result, charges by these facilities for yoga classes are not subject to the New York City local sales tax. …
Charges for yoga instruction by a facility that otherwise qualifies as a weight control salon, health salon, or gymnasium (e.g., a facility that also offers its customers access to exercise equipment or to Pilates or aerobics classes) are subject to the New York City local sales tax.
Previously, NYC yoga studios were under the impression that all yoga classes were considered weight control salons, health salons, or gymnasiums, and thus subject to the local sales tax.
Interesting that the State is now opening the door for yoga studios to structure their businesses such that classes aren’t subject to the sales tax. My guess is that when initially approached about the issue, the Department took the safe route with a blanket position. But after assigning the task to counsel, they realized the legal interpretation was too broad.
Back to mind-body therapy…
(Hat tip: Kay Bell)