Taxing at the Tattoo Parlor: Piercings, Permanent Makeup, and Ink

In most states, tattoos, piercings, and permanent makeup services are exempt from tax at the parlor; however, there are always a few states that have an exception to this rule that have been highlighted below, from a Bloomberg BNA article.


In Connecticut, services provided by tattoo parlors are taxable.

In Minnesota, tattoo artists must pay sales and use tax on their purchases of cleansing agents, tattoo ink and other tools and equipment.


Some states specify a different tax treatment depending on whether property is transferred in conjunction with the piercing. For example, in Massachusetts, piercing, tattooing, body art and scarification are nontaxable services as long as sales of personal property are separately stated, or if the cost of tangible personal property is less than 10% of the total cost.

In Georgia, piercings are not a taxable service, but if there is a mandatory charge associated with the sale of earrings, then the piercing charge is subject to sales tax.

Permanent Makeup

In Iowa, permanent makeup services are taxable as beauty services.

In New Jersey, permanent cosmetic applications are taxable unless prescribed by a doctor in conjunction with reconstructive breast surgery.

In New York, permanent cosmetics are nontaxable, but are subject to New York City sales tax if performed within New York City, unless performed by someone licensed under Title VIII of the Education Law.

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