Obama has put Tax on Tanning Beds
A tax on tanning is expected to raise £1.8bn in the US to help raise money for overhauling healthcare.
While the harmless spray-tan remains untaxed, those going for the burn on tanning beds now face considerably higher charges.
The first federal tax has been tacked onto indoor tanning services in a move expected to generate $2.7bn over a decade.
The 10% levy was introduced as part of controversial healthcare reforms President Barack Obama signed into law in March.
Senate Democrats considered a tax on cosmetic surgery dubbed the Botax to pay for the costs of implementing the legislation, before looking to the indoor tanning industry.
The tanning industry complains that thousands of small independent business will be badly affected by the introduction of the tax, which will hit profits.
Tanning services offered by health clubs are, in the main, not taxable thanks to an exemption on fitness facitileies’ membership fees which include access to sunbeds.
However tax authorities have ruled that tanning outlets cannot seek a fitness centre exemption “by allowing users access to exercise classes or pieces of exercise equipment.”
Bizarrely, many video rental stores are affected by the tax as it not unusual in parts of US to offer free tans in exchange for a certain number of rentals.
Meanwhile tanning addicts have raced to fit in extra sunbed sessions before the tax took effect.
Current NHS advice warns that sunbeds and tanning booths give out the same type of harmful radiation as sunlight – often in greater doses than the midday Mediterranean sun.
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