Personal Trainer Fees Paid to Missouri Fitness Center Taxable

A Missouri fitness center was liable for sales tax on its personal trainer fees because the fitness center was considered a place of recreation. The Missouri Hearing Commission rejected the taxpayer’s argument that the personal trainer fees were rent and therefore not subject to tax. The entire facility was available to the personal trainers, including office and floor space – not just personal property, and the clients, not the trainers, had the use of the facility’s equipment. The clients had to wait to use a machine that was being used by someone else because the personal trainers never had the right to dictate who used what machine. Therefore, the personal trainers’ use of the fitness center to perform a service could not have been characterized as a rental of tangible personal property. Furthermore, the personal trainer fees were not paid for a rental of real property. There never was a written rental agreement and the personal trainers did not have exclusive use of the building. (GM Fitness, Inc. v. Director of Revenue, Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, No. 06-1071RS).

Posted on January 4, 2008