Friday, August 27, 2010

IRS Will Tan Your Hide

When I was a young boy my dad would occasionally threaten to “tan my hide,” meaning that I was about to get a spanking. Well, it looks like Congress and the IRS are now passing out spankings of a financial nature to anyone who uses the services of an indoor tanning salon. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act levies a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. The act was effective July 1, 2010, and requires all indoor tanning salons to charge their customers a 10% excise tax for the use of a tanning bed. The tanning customers may not be the only ones getting their hide tanned because if the customer fails to pay the tax, the tanning salon is liable for it.

There are exemptions from the tax, though, for phototherapy services performed on premises by licensed medical professionals, spray-on tanning services, and certain physical fitness facilities that offer tanning as part of their services without a separate fee. Looks like the fitness club industry has a pretty good lobby, wouldn’t you say?

Tanning salons are required to file the newly revised Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Have you seen this thing? If you count the Payment Voucher it is 7 pages long!

Indoor tanning services tax is reported in Part II on page 2 along with the excise tax on bows, quivers, broadheads, fishing tackle boxes, electric outboard motors, fishing poles, and arrow shafts. If tanning beds are so dangerous to your health, maybe it should be reported over on page 1 of Form 720 along with diesel fuel. What do you think?

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