Gym Bag

Today TaxMama hears from Jason in Florida who wants to know, “I would like to know under what circumstances, if any, would gym membership fees be tax-deductible?”

Hi Jason

Now that’s an interesting question.

From the way you’ve phrased it, you seem to understand that, generally, gym fees aren’t deductible.
You’re correct.

And ‘club’ membership fees are no longer deductible for business purposes. So, when could they be? Let’s see…

1) You have a medical condition that requires you use specific facilities (spa, sauna, pool, exercise equipment, etc.) available at the gym for therapeutic purposes. Your doctor must give you a written prescription ordering you to do specific things at the gym. The doctor doesn’t need to name the gym, unless they have something unique there – like an indoor pool for year-round use, or a specific piece of equipment which will provide you with therapy for a specific condition. (medical deduction – Schedule A)

2) Your business is IN the gym. You’re a personal trainer or therapist using the gym to work with your clients. (business deduction – Schedule C)

3) It is part of your job’s routine training – you’re a professional athlete and are required to do specific
workout routines, using specific equipment not generally available at your team’s facility – and all members in your same circumstances are required to do that conditioning using outside gyms. (employee business expense – Form 2106 &/or Schedule A)

4) Or you have no team – it’s just you, making a full-time living, or your primary living as an athlete. Your gym is where you work out all day. (business deduction – Schedule C)

5) If your athletic competitions are just a hobby, but you take it seriously and earn some money at it – you might get away with deducting gym fees, up to the money you’ve won or earned. However, you probably have enough other costs, like shoes that wear out each month; workout clothes – that you use nowhere else; entrance fees/registration fees to competitive events; travel and lodging at those events….that will eat up your earnings before you even need to use the gym fees. (business deduction – Schedule C)

That’s all I can think of. Maybe our readers will think of other ideas when I post this today.

But, enough of my babbling…what did YOU have in mind to do?

And remember, you can find answers to questions about club dues and all kinds of other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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