The Fake n’ Bake Tax

I spent more than a few minutes searching for an appropriate visual aid to go along with this post. I wanted to make sure it was just right.  Okay, maybe I got a little sidetracked.

If you’re not familiar with the new tanning tax that went into effect last summer, maybe you’re the type that likes to soak up the natural sunlight which, by the way, probably causes cancer just the same, but it’s harder to regulate.  The legislation that went into effect on July 1, 2010 imposes a 10% excise tax on ultraviolet tanning services — paid by the burn victims and collected (and reported) by the burners.

TIGTA (IRS’s big brother) released a report today showing that the new tax is not generating near the amount of revenue it was expected to generate.  It was supposed to raise as much as $50 million in the 4th quarter of 2010 and $200 million this year. Instead it raised only $17.8 million in the 4th quarter of 2010 and $36.6 million during the first 6 months of 2011.  So why the poor results?  These are some possible reasons that TIGTA identified:

  • The tax was pushed through quickly and the tanning industry wasn’t prepared
  • Businesses aren’t paying and the IRS isn’t enforcing compliance like it should
  • IRS has incomplete / outdated records of applicable businesses

Read about a recent public hearing on the tanning tax here.

Read about California’s recent ban on indoor tanning for minors here.

Read about the metal umlaut here.

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