May 7, 2015
As described in our recent report, Understanding California’s Sales Tax, New York City levies a sales tax on personal services. This note provides additional information about the services that are subject to this tax.
New York State Charges Sales Tax on Specified Services. The taxed services include telecommunication, home repair, admission charges, interior decorating, and a variety of other specified services. However, services not specifically listed as taxable—such as the personal care services described below—are generally exempt.
New York City Charges Sales Tax on Additional Services. New York City’s sales tax applies to personal care services that are not taxed elsewhere in New York State. These services include haircuts, manicures, and services provided by many types of "health and fitness clubs."
Some Exempt Services Are Similar to Taxed Services. For example, New York City charges sales tax on some yoga classes but not on others. Specifically, if the facility offering the yoga class is exclusively a yoga studio, then the class is not subject to sales tax. However, if the yoga class occurs at a more general-purpose health or fitness club, then it is generally subject to tax. (As described in the link, the state and city governments both charge sales tax on the rental and storage of yoga mats at either type of facility.)