The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) recently ruled that membership fees for a local fitness center were exempt from state and local sales tax. The taxpayer operated a health and fitness center in Missouri. Customers paid for memberships either annually or on a month-to-month basis. Memberships allowed customers to sign up for 30-minute instructional classes or use equipment in a guided circuit workout. Fitness instructors led 30-minute instructional classes that covered a variety of health and fitness topics.
Missouri law exempts sales of instructional classes. Missouri defines instructional classes as any class, lesson, or instruction intended or used for teaching. Since the taxpayer's members were always using equipment with an instructor present, the membership fees represented amounts paid for instructional classes. So, tax did not apply.