If you haven’t heard about this yoga sales tax business going on in Washington we’ll summarize it for you - the state considers “physical fitness services” to be defined as “retail sale” and assuming yoga falls under exercise it should be taxed accordingly – 9% sales tax. We can only assume yoga is getting slapped with the tax now, as opposed to years ago, because of its rapid growth, and ubiquity in gyms. Places like CT parts of Canada already follow a similar sales tax law. The issue here, however, is that all of sudden these folks are being charged tax for something they hadn’t been before and some studios may indeed have to pay back taxes. Ouch. Begrudging studios like 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle claim it’s not just exercise, but personal education and a path to mental stability:
“The sole purpose is to be mentally stable, mentally fit, to be able to concentrate for long periods of time,” owner Anne Phyfe Palmer said.
In today’s debate over whether yoga is physical or spiritual, or both, we’re not sure these studios will end up convincing the courts they should be exempt. We’ll see what happens next Wednesday November 19th when the Wash Dept of Revenue, Stakeholders and the public (uh-oh look out) will duke it out have civilized discourse.
Yoga Classes Hit with Controversial New Tax [K5, NBC Seattle]