Tanning Tax Here to Stay Thanks to the Affordable Care Act

Indoor Tanning Association says tanning tax is killing business.

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Despite lobbying by the Indoor Tanning Association, Obamacare's 'tanning tax' will stick around.

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It's official: That trip to the tanning bed is going to keep costing you a little extra.

Monday, the IRS definitively ruled it is going to keep a 10 percent sales tax on tanning salons in tact. The tax, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, was created to help offset the cost of insuring more Americans and raise $2.7 million over the next decade.

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Last year, a British Medical Journal study found that 5 percent of melanoma cases reported in Europe were caused by tanning. The study also found that individuals who regularly got their rays from tanning beds were 20 percent more likely to get the deadly skin disease.

The regulation, which was already being collected on a trial basis, requires that indoor tanning businesses add a 10 percent excise tax on top of their cost.

Under the law, gyms that have tanning beds, but do not rely on them for the majority of their business, are exempt from collecting the tax.

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The Indoor Tanning Association, a group that represents tanning bed manufacturers and business owners says that the tax is cutting into business and unfairly exempts gyms.

"The IRS is picking winners and losers in the industry," says John Overstreet, the ITA's executive director.

Since 2010, the Indoor Tanning Association says a bad economy, coupled with the tax, has led to more than 1,000 business closures.

"If you are struggling to begin with and then you have the federal government taking 10 percent of your profit, a lot of these businesses just cannot survive," says John Overstreet, the group's executive director.

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The group says that it will continue to fight to remove the tax.

Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., introduced a bill to stop the tax in 2011, but has yet to reintroduce it this year.

The Indoor Tanning Association is also working with Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., to erase the tax through comprehensive tax reform.

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