Health Club and Fitness Centre Services under service tax
Health Club and Fitness Centre Services has been introduced under finance act, 1994 on 16.08.2002 vide Notification No. 8/2002-S.T.,dated 01.08.2002
“Health Club and Fitness Service” means service for physical well-being such as, sauna and steam bath, Turkish bath, solarium, spas, reducing or slimming salons, gymnasium, yoga, meditation, massage (excluding therapeutic massage) or any other like service.
“Taxable Service” means any service provided or to be provided to any person, by a health club and fitness centre in relation to health and fitness services;
“Health Club and Fitness Centre” means any establishment, including a hotel or resort, providing health and fitness service
Clarifications issued by the Department:
“Health and fitness service” means physical well being service such as, sauna and steam bath, Turkish bath, solarium, spas, reducing or slimming salons, gymnasium, yoga, meditation, massage (excluding therapeutic massage) or any other like service. As per [Section 65], the taxable service is any service provided to any person, by a health club and fitness centre in relation to health and fitness service. “Health club and fitness centre” means any establishment including a hotel or a resort providing health and fitness service.
Health and fitness services are provided by clubs, fitness centers, health saloons, hotels, and gymnasium and massage centers. The services which fall under this category might be for weight reduction and slimming, physical fitness exercise, gyms, aerobics, yoga, meditation, reiki, sauna and steam bath, Turkish bath, sun bath and massage for general well being.
However therapeutic massage does not come in the ambit of taxable service. Therapeutic massage basically means a massage provided by qualified professionals under medical supervision for curing diseases such as arthritis, chronic low back pain and sciatica etc.
Ayurvedic massage, acupressure therapy etc. given by qualified professionals under medical supervision for curing diseases/disorders will come under the category of therapeutic massages. If the massage is performed without any medical supervision or advice but for the general physical well being of a person, such massages do not come under the purview of therapeutic massages and they would be liable to service tax.
A point has been raised as to what would be the value of taxable service in case where clubs and fitness centers charge a monthly/periodic amount as membership fee and only members are allowed to avail their services.
- It is clarified that membership fee charged by the club is in lieu of service provided and therefore in such cases service tax would be leviable on periodic/monthly membership fee.
Another point relates to service tax on membership fee already collected.
- It is clarified that no service tax will be payable on membership fee already collected prior to the date on which the new service tax has come into force.
Certain recognized institutes impart diploma courses in yoga. A point has been raised as to whether service tax is leviable on such institutes.
- It is clarified that such institutes and research center do not fall in the category of health club and fitness center and accordingly would not be liable to service tax.