The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rules regarding gym membership are difficult to understand and strict. In case, If your job, such as that of a cabin crew, requires you to maintain a certain level of fitness, your gym membership may not be eligible for deduction. However, if maintaining a high fitness level is an essential requirement of your job, such as in the case of a professional sportsperson like an athlete or football player, then your gym membership becomes deductible. This distinction is based on whether the fitness requirement is fundamental to the job or merely beneficial to it.
Can I claim my gym membership fee?
Yes, some people are indeed able to claim their gym membership fees. Not even all police officers can claim fitness and gym expenses on their tax returns.
The ATO has ruled that gym fees are generally considered a private expense and that you can only claim gym and fitness expenses in very limited circumstances.
As stated on the ATO website, to claim gym and fitness expenses, you must be required to maintain an extremely high level of fitness well above the general occupation standard and perform ongoing strenuous physical activities as an essential and regular part of your role.
Examples of those who are unable to claim gym and fitness expenses include fitness instructors, personal trainers, and even firefighters, as the level of fitness they are required to maintain would not be well above the general standard for those in a similar role.
How to claim a gym membership?
To claim a gym membership, it is crucial to demonstrate that your job necessitates a higher level of fitness compared to the average worker or that the membership is directly related to your occupation. Professions such as personal trainers, group fitness trainers, fitness or sports coaches, dancers, and certain emergency workers like firefighters and paramedics are likely to fall into this category. These individuals are actively engaged in physically demanding roles that require them to maintain a specific level of fitness, making their gym membership fees potentially deductible.
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of jobs where you may be able to claim a tax deduction for your gym membership.
Tips to claim your gym membership
To claim your gym membership as a deduction, you will need to provide evidence that your job requires you to maintain a high level of fitness. It could include a letter from your employer, a copy of your job description, or a statement from your supervisor.
Here are some tips for increasing your chances of being successful in claiming your gym membership as a tax deduction:
- Keep detailed records of your gym membership expenses, including receipts and invoices.
- Be able to show that your job requires you to maintain a high level of fitness.
- Speak to a tax professional if you are unsure whether you can claim your gym membership as a tax deduction.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of the rules on claiming work-related expenses.
Claiming a gym membership as a tax deduction in Australia can be complex and is subject to strict rules set by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Generally, gym fees are considered private expenses and not deductible. However, individuals in specific professions that require a higher level of fitness may be eligible to claim their gym membership as a tax deduction. It is important to maintain detailed records and provide evidence that your job necessitates a higher level of fitness to increase your chances of a successful claim. Consulting a tax professional and understanding the ATO’s rules is recommended.
This article is for general information only. It does not make recommendations nor does it provide advice to address your personal circumstances. To make an informed decision, always contact a registered tax professional.