Taxing Yoga

Paloma Chavez

DC_Taxing-Yoga.JPGDo you own a yoga studio? If so, how would you feel if you were told you’d have to start charging a sales tax? Yes, that’s right – the tax man cometh!

Charging their clients a sales tax is the dilemma that yoga studios and teachers in the state of Washington are currently facing. Recently, the Department of Revenue in that state notified the owners of yoga studios that they would have to start charging a sales tax. Why? Because it was decided that yoga is considered a form of exercise and therefore, under the law, it is subject to sales tax.

Just think how you’d feel if that happened in your state!

Owners and teachers of yoga studios in Washington have not taken this unpopular decision lightly and the policy is currently under fierce debate. Some teachers have tried to enlighten officials by explaining that although physical fitness is taught, the focus of yoga is on meditation and the calming of mind and spirit. There is also a discrepancy between yoga classes being taught in fitness centers that tend to concentrate on yoga as a fitness regime and independent yoga studios that focus on meditation and spiritual awareness.

Some yoga studios have already reluctantly begun to implement this new 9% sales tax. However, this has opened another can of worms because the owners and teachers of the studios are concerned that they may be subject to paying back taxes, which could end up being thousands of dollars. To add to the frustration, some studios have already been required to pay back taxes, while other studios have received a tax refund. In order to come to find a common ground resolution to this debate, Washington’s Department of Revenue is planning to meet with local yoga representatives on November 19th.

Let’s hope they find a solution before the idea catches on in other states!

So what would you do if you were suddenly told that you had to charge a sales tax under the law?

You can read the full article here to find out more about this ongoing debate:

[tags]yoga exercise, yoga studio and tax, sales tax on yoga, yoga in Washington state[/tags]

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