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.
Yoga for New York
With all the deserved criticism being leveled upon the yoga industry of late, it’s important to distinguish between the influence of corporate business and what is happening at the grassroots. There is no better example of the disparity between these two mores than the efforts of Yoga for NY, an organization of yoga centers and teachers that have banded together to see that their interests are represented in local government.
Is yoga fitness? Should it be taxed as so? Will practitioners have to pay for it? These are questions on New York studio owners’ minds lately. For years yoga has slid by without paying NY sales tax. That changed last April when the New York Department of Taxation and Finance ruled to include yoga studios in the category of businesses based around fitness rather than movement spaces (dance studios aren’t taxed). Since then, yoga studios have been getting audited across the city and the tax man is coming to collect, which could slam some and bankrupt others.
Some of you may be aware of Yoga for NY and the battle they fought two years ago (and won) against NY State over licensing fees. They organized to rally against government regulation but have stayed united as an organization ever since. A few weeks ago, YFNY came together again to discuss recent legal challenges, predominantly, the sales tax issue, that isn’t only affecting NY but other states and studios across the country.