This is huge news for NY yoga studios. Once again Yoga for NY has triumphed over the NY government. The meetings, fundraisers and petitions seem to have paid off as guidance was handed down Wednesday stating that yoga studios will NOT have to collect sales tax on classes.
The issue, in short, was that last year the New York Department of Taxation and Finance ruled to include yoga studios in the category of fitness rather than movement (dance studios aren’t taxed) and went ahead issuing tax or be damned notices. Yoga for NY, the same organization who won the licensing battle in 2009, stepped up and, well, organized.
The official guidance came today via the NY State government website stating that yoga studios that are strictly for yoga will not need to collect sales tax:
For Release: Immediate, Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Contact: Geoffrey Gloak, 518-457-4242
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has issued guidance regarding the sales tax treatment of yoga facilities in New York City.
The guidance notes that charges for yoga classes by facilities in New York City that offer only instruction in various yoga disciplines 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 (for example, a facility that also offers its customers access to exercise equipment, Pilates or aerobics classes) are subject to the New York City local sales tax.
For more information:
So there you go studio owners and students worried about rising prices, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief! But there were some studios preemptively collecting tax when the threat of audits broke earlier this year, which means some students have already been paying tax as a just in case measure. Woops. Something tells us we might have to chalk that one up to an unceremonious puja.
As for Yoga for NY, their work is not over yet, executive Director Alison West shares in their newsletter. Regarding the whole contractor vs. employee issue:
Now that this has been achieved, we can redouble our efforts on the Department of Labor front, where I am also happy to say that our meeting is leading to serious consideration of the issues we brought before the DOL in Albany two weeks ago.
No savasana for the weary.
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