When it comes to gym memberships, both personally and as a business owner, the ATO tax rules in regard to deducting gym memberships are strict and can be difficult to decipher.

For instance, if your job role requires you to be adequately fit, like a nurse who works in a hospital, your membership may not fall into the category of a deduction. However if one of the essential job requirements is that you are to keep a high fitness level, then the gym membership is deductible. A good illustration of this would be a professional sportsperson (i.e: an AFL football player).

In order to claim your gym membership as a deduction on your personal tax return, you must be able to show that your job requires you to maintain a high level of fitness (more than the average worker) and/or the membership relates directly to your job. Below is a list of fields where it’s likely that gym membership fees would be deductible:

  • Personal trainers
  • Group fitness trainers
  • Fitness or sports coaches
  • Dancers
  • Some emergency workers (including some firemen//women and paramedics)

When it comes to being an employer and offering a gym incentive to your employees to stay fit and healthy, there are some common entertainment expenses that you can claim a deduction for and gym membership is one of them. However, it is an area that needs to be dealt with properly as fringe benefits tax (FBT) may apply when paying for your employees gym memberships.

To be sure, please speak with one of our team members and they will be able to point you in the right direction.

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