We Are Sunshine

Update on the 10 percent Tan Tax

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

2010-03-31 Tax copyAlthough passage of federal Health Care Reform legislation means a 10 percent federal tax on all UV indoor tanning services would go into effect July 1, none of the details on how that tax will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service have yet been determined, nor have many members of the indoor tanning community given up on attempting to have the tax repealed.

“Many members of Congress are still unaware that there even is a Tan Tax, or what the details are,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “What we’re hearing from the public and the press is they are repulsed at how this back-room deal came about — slipped into the bill at the last minute in December by powerful lobbyists who substituted the ‘Botax’ on rich doctors and their wealthy customers for the Tan Tax on mostly middle class women and women-owned businesses.”

The Indoor Tanning Association and many members of the industry are still exploring ways to approach repealing The Tan Tax. Smart Tan is assisting in those efforts.

The tax, if it goes into effect July 1, would apply only to UV-related indoor tanning sessions. It would not apply to products or to spray tanning. Here is the language from the passed legislation:


(a) IN GENERAL. There is hereby imposed on any indoor tanning service a tax equal to 10 percent of the amount paid for such service (determined without regard to this section), whether paid by insurance or otherwise.

(b) INDOOR TANNING SERVICE. For purposes of this section:

(1) IN GENERAL. The term Œindoor tanning service¹ means a service employing any electronic product designed to incorporate 1 or more ultraviolet lamps and intended for the irradiation of an individual by ultraviolet radiation, with wavelengths in air between 200 and 400 nanometers, to induce skin tanning.

(2) EXCLUSION OF PHOTOTHERAPY SERVICES. Such term does not include any phototherapy service performed by a licensed medical professional.


(1) IN GENERAL. The tax imposed by this section shall be paid by the individual on whom the service is performed.

(2) COLLECTION. Every person receiving a payment for services on which a tax is imposed under subsection (a) shall collect the amount of the tax from the individual on whom the service is performed and remit such tax quarterly to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as provided by the Secretary.

(3) SECONDARY LIABILITY. Where any tax imposed by subsection (a) is not paid at the time payments for indoor tanning services are made, then to the extent that such tax is not collected, such tax shall be paid by the person who performs the service.

(c) CLERICAL AMENDMENT. The table of chapter for subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 48 the following new item:
H. R. 3590-903

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE. The amendments made by this section shall apply to services performed on or after July 1, 2010.