The Affordable Care Act includes a 10 percent federal excise tax on indoor tanning services, which went into effect July 1, 2010.
I was driving through Spencer, Mass., the other day and passed Guaranteed Fitness, which describes itself as the largest 24-hour gym in the entire state of Massachusetts. There's a big sign out front touting memberships for $29 a month, which include "free tanning."
If the tanning is "free," the excise tax is zero.
Sure enough, the IRS web site explains that the fitness club membership fee "is not subject to the indoor tanning services tax."
The same IRS frequently-asked-question page also gives the example of "a tax-exempt university" that "charges students an activity fee that entitles them to indoor tanning services." The tanning tax applies even to tax-exempt universities, the IRS says. I'm not sure which universities offer this service to students, but I hope it's not a substitute for a traditional college education.
Initial reports indicate that the tanning tax is generating far less revenue than had been predicted. Legal methods to avoid the tax, such as the fitness club offering "free tanning," are probably part of the reason why.