As of July 2011, the sales and use tax rate in Pennsylvania is 6 percent, with an additional 1 percent imposed on Allegheny County and 2 percent in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania charges sales tax on retail, rental, consumption or use of "tangible personal property" within the state. Certain property-related services, such as cleaning, are also subject to taxation.
Non-Taxable Cleaning Labor
Whether specific cleaning labor is taxable depends on the situation. Under the Pennsylvania tax codes, certain services are not taxable, including interior or exterior painting and wallpapering. Although these surfaces must be cleaned before such action is taken, the primary use is the painting or wallpapering, so that specific cleaning service is not taxable. Boiler and furnace cleaning and maintenance is neither subject to tax.
Building Cleaning Services
Cleaning services and the attendant labor must charge tax for both residential and commercial cleaning. According to Pennsylvania code, such cleaning services include the removal of dirt, grime, dust or grease on either the inside outside of a building. It also includes regular cleaning maintenance necessary to keep the building and all contents in "a clean, neat, polished or orderly appearance," as stated in Pennsylvania code. Maintenance services that fit this description include maid service, janitor service, floor waxing, window cleaning, chimney cleaning, tile cleaning, Venetian blind cleaning, of fuel service station cleaning and enclosed telephone booth cleaning.
The cleaning labor tax in Pennsylvania isn't limited to inanimate objects. State tax statutes include the cleaning or grooming of pets and show animals. This includes professional groomers as well as veterinarians. However, if a veterinarian performs the cleaning service on the animal as part of medical treatment, it is not taxable. Pennsylvania Code 55.5 describes cleaning as including, but limited, to animal washing, eye and ear cleaning, and trimming or clipping the coat or nails.
Other Taxable Cleaning Services
The Pennsylvania tax code specifies that various cleaning services are subject to tax. This includes the cleaning, washing, waxing and polishing of motor vehicles, whether a person performs the labor or the car wash facility is automatic. Statutes also address cleaning, dry-cleaning, laundering, pressing and repairing tangible personal property, but excludes shoes and clothing from taxation.