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Hair Removal Services

Tax Bulletin ST-326 (TB-ST-326)

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Issue Date: November 26, 2014


This bulletin explains how the New York State and local sales and use taxes (sales tax) apply to businesses that sell hair removal services.

Sales of services

Hair removal services include electrolysis, waxing, and laser treatments. Sales of hair removal services are:

  • exempt from state and local sales tax everywhere in New York State outside New York City, but
  • subject to New York City’s local sales tax when sold in New York City.

If you sell hair removal services in New York City, you must register for sales tax purposes, collect tax, and report these sales as instructed on your sales tax returns.

Sales of products

Sales of products to your customers, such as:

  • shave gels and depilatory creams,
  • razors,
  • pulsed light hair removal systems, and
  • hair trimmers,

are sales of tangible personal property subject to tax throughout New York State. If you sell tangible personal property anywhere in New York State, you must register for sales tax purposes, collect tax, and report these sales as instructed on your sales tax returns.

Purchases of products

You may purchase products that you intend to resell to your customers without paying sales tax by giving your supplier a properly completed Form ST-120, Resale Certificate.

Any products you buy to be used in providing hair removal services cannot be purchased for resale, and you must pay sales tax to your supplier at the time of purchase. Additionally, any items you buy for resale that you later use in providing your services are subject to use tax. For more information, see Tax Bulletin Use Tax for Businesses (TB-ST-910).

Example: The owner of an electrolysis business keeps an inventory of various products available for retail sale to her customers. Occasionally she takes some of those products for her own use in providing hair removal services. The owner must pay use tax on her cost for the products used in providing hair removal services.

Purchases of equipment

All purchases of equipment for use in your business are subject to sales tax at the time of purchase. This includes:

  • epilators,
  • wax warmers,
  • electrolysis hair removal systems,
  • hair trimmers, and
  • laser hair removal workstations.

Booth rentals

Charges for booth rentals that give the renter the right to use certain space are considered to be charges for the rental of real property and are not subject to sales tax.


All charges for utilities used in providing hair removal services are subject to sales tax.

Note: A Tax Bulletin is an informational document designed to provide general guidance in simplified language on a topic of interest to taxpayers. It is accurate as of the date issued. However, taxpayers should be aware that subsequent changes in the Tax Law or its interpretation may affect the accuracy of a Tax Bulletin. The information provided in this document does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning.