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Get tan today: 10% tax on its way

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Getting a bronze glow for the summer -- at least artificially -- is about to get a little more expensive.

A 10% tax will be tacked on to indoor tanning bills starting Thursday, as part of the health-care reform President Obama signed into law in March.

According to guidelines from the IRS, the tax will apply to electronic products designed for tanning that use one or more ultraviolet lamps with wavelengths between 200 and 400 nanometers. Other sunless tanning options, such as spray tans, are not subject to the tariff.

The tax is expected to generate $2.7 billion by 2019, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Tanning salons are charged with collecting the levy and reporting it to the government each quarter. That money will help fund the health-reform package, which carries a price-tag of $940 billion.

The tanning tax replaced the 5% "Botax" on cosmetic surgery that was included in earlier versions of the reform bill.

That cosmetic surgery tax would have been levied on elective procedures like breast implants and Botox injections, but the provision was dropped last year after objections from medical and dermatological associations.

Those industries supported the tanning tax because of health risks associated with indoor tans. But tanning associations have hit back, arguing that health concerns are exaggerated and the tax could put salon owners out of business.

The Indoor Tanning Association said 30 million people, or more than 10% of all Americans, tan indoors each year. The industry employs more than 140,000 people in 19,000 businesses across the country.

-- CNNMoney staff reporter Blake Ellis contributed to this report. To top of page

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