Washington state CrossFit affiliates not considered “instructional,” burdened with confusing tax. Maureen O’Hagan reports.
CrossFit Bellevue owner Leilani M. Cerrillo looked around one day and realized something: her clients were paying sales tax and her neighbors’ clients weren’t.
The gymnastics studio next door? Not subject to Washington state sales tax.
The cheerleading school? Not taxed.
But Cerrillo’s box? Taxed.
“I don’t see why my people are being charged sales tax and those people are not,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of gray area.”
Under Washington’s jury-rigged system, if the “primary purpose” of the fitness activity is instruction, it’s not subject to the sales tax. If it’s primarily about fitness, then it is.
No one ever accused the taxman of being logical. In fact, if you bore into state sales-tax rules that apply to physical-fitness activities, things quickly get confusing. Washington’s system is so unclear that while some box owners just buck up and pay, others aren’t forking over a dime; some are getting away with it and others are being penalized.