The following post has been adopted from the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Sales Tax Fact Sheet #124, Exercise Facilities and Health Clubs.
Fees and memberships
Fees or charges for access to the types of health clubs and similar businesses listed below are taxable.
- exercise facilities
- health clubs
- reducing salons
- steam baths
- swimming pools
- tanning (except spray tanning)
- Turkish baths
Memberships to any club, community center, or other organization that provides sports or athletic facilities for members are taxable. One-time membership fees and periodic membership dues are taxable, as well as initiation fees and social memberships that allow admission to the club but no use of athletic facilities.
The following charges are not taxable if they are separately stated from the taxable charges described above.
- fees for not spending a minimum in the dining room
- redeemable equity contributions
- special assessments or capital surcharges to fund specific capital improvements
- stock purchase payments
- stock transfer fees
The following are not taxable when they are optional and separately stated from other taxable charges, such as a membership fee:
- aerobic, exercise, yoga or other class fees
- consultation fees for weight control or nutrition
- cosmetology, body wraps, and waxing
- day care
- personal trainer fees
YMCA’s, YWCA’s, and Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s) of Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul memberships are not taxable, including one-time initiation fees and periodic membership dues. However, separate charges for access to and use of the organization’s sports or athletic facilities are taxable. For example, swimming pool admissions, racquetball and tennis court charges are taxable.
Sales to customers
Snack bar sales, including milk, juices and health drinks served to customers, are taxable. See Fact Sheet 137, Restaurants and Bars, for more information.
Birthday party packages that include food, favors, use of the swimming pool or other athletic facilities or equipment are taxable.
Sales of products such as skin care products, handball gloves, tennis balls, and gym bags are taxable. Sales of food supplements, vitamins, appetite suppressants and stimulants are also taxable. For more information about how sales tax applies to food, candy, soft drinks, prepared food, and dietary supplements, see Fact Sheets 102 A through E. Clothing is not taxable; see Fact Sheet 105, Clothing.
Massages are taxable unless your customer provides a referral from a licensed health care facility or professional for treatment of injury, illness or disease. See Fact Sheet 162, Massages, for more information.
All sales of food and drinks through vending machines are taxable. See Fact Sheet 158, Vending Machines and Other Coin Operated Devices, for more information.
Towel service is taxable. Towels or other items that are supplied to customers as part of a linen supply service can be purchased exempt for resale by giving the supplier a fully completed Certificate of Exemption, Form ST3, and using Exemption Code Resale. If you launder your own towels, you may buy the water, soap, bleach and other materials used to launder the towels exempt; use Exemption Code Other and write in, “Materials to provide taxable services.” See Fact Sheet 120, Laundry and Cleaning Services, for more information.
If you sell or lease equipment or other items used in your business, the sale may be subject to sales tax. See Fact Sheet 132, Occasional Sales of Business Equipment and Goods, for more information.
Donated massage therapy or other donated services or admissions are not taxable. The donor must pay sales or use tax on any taxable items used in providing these services or admissions.
If store coupons or discounts are used by your customer to buy taxable items, subtract the coupon or discount amount first and then apply sales tax to the discounted amount. For manufacturer coupons where the seller is reimbursed for the value of the coupon, charge tax on the coupon amount and the amount the customer pays. See Fact Sheet 167, Coupons, Discounts, and Other Forms of Payment, for more information.
Sales to nonprofits
Qualifying nonprofit organizations must give you an exemption certificate to claim exemption on purchases. Generally, nonprofit organizations may purchase admissions exempt from tax but must pay tax on club memberships.
Purchases by facilities or clubs
When you buy things to use in your facility or club, tax applies as follows:
Equipment is taxable.
Supplies furnished for no extra charge to customers, such as lotions, tanning supplies, towels, and deodorants are taxable when purchased by the facility.
Other taxable items include:
- administrative supplies
- audio and video tapes
- building cleaning and maintenance services
- cleaning supplies
- eye and ear protectors
- furniture and fixtures
- lawn care services
- linen supply and laundry services
- pool chemicals
- security services
Any of the above items purchased for resale to customers are not taxable. Give your vendor a properly completed Certificate of Exemption, Form ST3, using Exemption Code F. Separately state the sales price and charge your customer sales tax when you sell taxable items at retail.
Contracts for improvements to real property such as repairs or remodeling of the facility are not taxable. The contractor pays sales tax on all supplies and building materials used. If you perform your own improvements, you must pay sales or use tax on your cost of supplies and materials.
Sales tax is generally charged by the seller at the time of sale. However, if the seller does not charge Minnesota sales tax on equipment, supplies, or other taxable items used in your business, you must pay use tax. Use tax is due on your cost of the item. Report state and local use tax when you electronically file your sales and use tax return. See Fact Sheet 146, Use Tax for Businesses, for more information.
You must pay use tax when you:
- Buy taxable items such as computer hardware or software by mail, Internet, or phone when Minnesota sales tax is not charged by the seller.
- Buy taxable inputs that are used to supply a taxable service.
- Buy taxable items for use in an area with a local use tax but only state tax was paid.
- Buy taxable services in Minnesota such as laundry service, building cleaning, lawn, or security services, but were not charged sales tax.
Local sales and use taxes
If you are located or working in an area with a local tax, local sales or use tax may also be due. Local taxes are listed and explained in detail in Fact Sheet 164, Local Sales and Use Taxes.
- Minnesota Statute section 297A.61, Subd. 3(g)(1) Admissions
- Minnesota Statute section 297A.61, Subd. 3(g)(4) Memberships
- Minnesota Statute section 297A.61, Subd. 3(g)(6)(vii) Massages
- Minnesota Statute section 297A.61, Subd. 4(h) and (j), Retail sale
- Minnesota Statute section 297A.70, Subd. 4, Sales to nonprofit groups
- Minnesota Statute section 297A.70, Subd. 12. YMCA, YWCA, and JCC memberships
- Revenue Notice 00-03, Sales and Use Tax – Exemptions: Materials Used or Consumed in Providing Taxable Service Revenue Notice 00-05, Golf, Country Club, and Athletic Club Memberships
- Revenue Notice 02-08, Massage Services
- Revenue Notice 02-20, Technical Corrections of Prior Revenue Notices
Other fact sheets you may need:
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This fact sheet is intended to help you become more familiar with Minnesota tax laws and your rights and responsibilities under the laws. Nothing in this fact sheet supersedes, alters, or otherwise changes any provisions of the tax law, administrative rules, court decisions, or revenue notices. Alternative formats available upon request.