Tax Deductions for Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors (2023)

get the best possible tax outcome, it's essential that you understand what you can – and what you can't – claim against your taxes, so here's my checklist of the deductions all workers in the fitness industry should be considering claiming this tax year.

Remember this list isn't exhaustive and not all the deductions will apply to everyone. Similarly, you may be entitled to some deductions that aren't listed here. Make sure you get professional help from a tax agent like H&R Block to ensure that you're getting your return right!

Travel and meals

You can't normally claim the cost of the daily commute to and from work. The only exception to that rule is if you have to carry bulky equipment (such as inflatable exercise balls, or other exercise equipment) to and from work and there is no secure place of storage for them at your work.

You can claim the cost of travelling between two workplaces, such as between two gyms or between two personal training appointments.

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If you plan to use your own car for work purposes, you can either claim a set rate of 68 cents per kilometre for all work journeys or you can claim the actual expenses incurred. If you choose the latter, you'll need to keep receipts for all costs and also keep a logbook of all your journeys for a 12 week period.

Just because you're in the fitness or sporting industry dsn't mean you can claim for the cost of attending sporting events. So, if you're a tennis coach, you can't claim for the cost of tickets to the Australian Open. If, however, you're coaching one of the players in the Open, you can claim the costs of attending.

Work-related clothing

You can claim a deduction for clothing that you're required to wear as a uniform to work that has the logo of the gym or sporting club where you work on it.

Unfortunately, you can't claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing or cleaning a plain uniform or conventional clothing you wear to work, even if your employer tells you to wear them. So, general exercise clothing like track suits, shorts, tank tops, running shs, socks, t-shirts and so on, can't be claimed.

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If you take classes outdoors, you can claim the cost of sun protection gear such as sunglasses, hats and sunscreen.

Buying fitness equipment

You can claim an immediate deduction for any work equipment that costs less than $300. If the item costs more than $300, then you can write off the cost over the expected life of the assets. That could include weight sets, treadmills, exercise bikes, and other personal training equipment.

Remember, if you also use the equipment for personal use, you'll need to apportion the cost between work use and personal use. You can only claim the work-related element.

If you own your own fitness business (rather than being employed by somebody else), you can write off items of equipment costing up to $30,000 each immediately (rather than writing off the cost over the expected life of the asset). As well as fitness equipment, you can use the same tax break to write-off any other capital assets used in your business like:

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  • TV sets and other equipment to build the "ambience" in your fitness area
  • Furniture for break-out or rest areas
  • Office equipment, like desks, chairs and cabinets
  • Technology such as laptops, desktop computers, phones and tablets
  • Motor vehicles

Work-related training

You can claim expenses for university or TAFE fees to the extent that the course relates to you current employment and you're not being reimbursed. For example, a personal trainer could claim for the cost of doing a Bachelor of Exercise Science. You can also claim associated costs such as text books, travel to the educational institution and stationery.

If you need to undertake professional development to keep up to date with the latest trends and practices in fitness and health, those costs will also be deductible to the extent they are linked to your current job.

You can't claim for a pre-vocational course, such as a Certificate III in Fitness.

Other deductions

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They may not be as significant in dollar terms as some of the items listed above, but make sure you claim the following:

  • Any work-related subscriptions or membership fees
  • Magazines, journals, books, apps or websites which are related to your work
  • The cost of using your personal mobile phone for work-related purposes
  • Equipment hire

Gym memberships

Your job is to help everybody else improve their physical fitness so surely it makes sense that you can claim the cost of boosting your own fitness? Sadly not. The ATO takes a hard line on gym memberships, saying that they are only claimable where the person claiming them needs to have a level of fitness well above normal. Professional sportspeople are quoted by the ATO as an example of who can make a claim whilst personal trainers and fitness instructors are specifically ruled out.

Remember to keep records!

Even if you've incurred any of the above expenses, the golden rule is that you can't make a claim unless you can prove you spent the money (and also that you weren't reimbursed by your employer). So, make sure you keep all relevant receipts, invoices, bank statements and credit card statements. If you're not sure if you can make a claim, keep the receipt anyway and discuss it with your tax agent.

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As at December 2019.


What can I write off on my taxes as a personal trainer? ›

As a freelance personal trainer, you can put your ordinary expenses— from kettlebells to gym memberships — to work. Think of it as sweating out savings from your tax bill. Fitness equipment, like weights, resistance bands, and mats can all be written off. Gym memberships or fitness classes you pay for can be deducted.

Can you write off workout clothes as a fitness instructor? ›

The cost of work clothing is deductible. However, you cannot deduct the cost of any clothing items you might wear outside of work. Unfortunately, off-the-rack workout clothing can be worn when you are operating your fitness business and when you are exercising on your own time, so it isn't a business expense.

Can I write off fitness expenses? ›

Gym memberships

Your gym membership may qualify as a medical expense. There are some criteria, however, that you'll have to meet. For instance, a doctor has to diagnose you with a specific medical condition.

Can you deduct a personal trainer as a medical expense? ›

Generally, if you qualify for a Letter of Medical Necessity, your costs for obtaining Personal Training will be tax deductible.

Can I write off exercise equipment? ›

Limitations on Deductions

To deduct the price of a treadmill, you must itemize your deductions using Schedule A of Form 1040. The price of the treadmill is part of your unreimbursed medical expenses. Medical expenses are deductible to the extent that they exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Can I claim running shoes on tax? ›

You can claim a deduction for clothing and footwear that you wear to protect you from specific risks of illness or injury from your work activities or your work environment. To be considered protective, the items must have both: protective features or functions.

Can LLC write off gym membership? ›

Sole proprietors or single-member LLCs can deduct gym memberships on Schedule C under the “Expenses” section. Partnerships or multiple-member LLCs use Form 1065, while corporations can expense gym memberships as a deduction on Form 1120.

Can I write off my peloton membership? ›

If you will not be able to use your Membership for more than 3 months due to travel, injury, illness, relocation, pregnancy, or any other reason, you can cancel your Membership. You will be able to reactivate at any time from your Peloton Bike, Bike+, Tread, or Guide.

What can you write off with an LLC? ›

LLC Tax Deductions Guide (What Expenses Can You Write Off?)
  • Expenses of Starting a Business.
  • Home Office Expenses.
  • Business Use of Your Car.
  • Business Meals.
  • Travel Expenses.
  • Education Expenses.
  • Business Interest and Bank Fees.
  • Medical Expenses.
Jan 17, 2023

What is the fitness tax credit? ›

The Physical Activity Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit up to $2,000 per family. This credit is an incentive for families as they look to access sport and recreational activities. It also holds the added benefit of supporting the local health and wellness industry.

Can you claim fitness on taxes 2022? ›

A spokesperson for the federal finance department said it already has initiatives in place to cover the cost of sports activities. It says eligible families can now receive up to $5,903 per child aged six through 17, and up to $6,997 per child under the age of six, for the July 2022 to June 2023 benefit year.

Is equipment a 100% write off? ›

For most small businesses, the entire cost of qualifying equipment can be written-off on the 2021 tax return (up to $1,050,000).

Can I write off clothes for work? ›

Include your clothing costs with your other "miscellaneous itemized deductions" on the Schedule A attachment to your tax return. Work clothes are among the miscellaneous deductions that are only deductible to the extent the total exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Can I write off haircuts? ›

The IRS does not let you deduct personal expenses from your taxes. The Court states, expenses such as haircuts, makeup, clothes, manicures, grooming, teeth whitening, hair care, manicures, and other cosmetic surgery are not deductible.

What deductions can I claim without receipts? ›

What does the IRS allow you to deduct (or “write off”) without receipts?
  • Self-employment taxes. ...
  • Home office expenses. ...
  • Self-employed health insurance premiums. ...
  • Self-employed retirement plan contributions. ...
  • Vehicle expenses. ...
  • Cell phone expenses.
Nov 9, 2022

What can you claim without receipts? ›

Examples of work-related expenses include rent for a car, gas for the car, food, clothing, phone calls, union dues, training, conferences, and book purchases. As a consequence of this, you are allowed to deduct up to $300 worth of business expenditures without providing any proof of purchase.

How much can I claim without receipts? ›

The ATO usually permits a deduction of $300 for work-related purchases without receipts. Although you may have spent a great deal more, the $300 can help with taxes. Remember, even if you are below the $300 limit, plan on being able to explain what you bought and how it relates to your job.

Can you write off clothes for LLC? ›

Clothing that promotes your business is deductible as a promotional expense. This includes the cost of the clothing itself, and the cost of adding your business logo to the item. You can claim this promotional cost as a miscellaneous deduction on your tax return.

Can I put my gym membership through my business? ›

You can technically expense anything as long as you can prove that it's a business expense. But most of the time, gym membership is deemed a personal expense by HMRC.

Is The Apple Watch tax deductible? ›

You only claim a deduction for the amount you use the item at work if you also wear it for private purposes. Similar to ordinary watches, a smart watch (that connects to a phone or other device to provide notifications, apps and GPS) is a private expense and not deductible under ordinary circumstances.

Why are people leaving Peloton? ›

Negative television portrayals, as well as a recall of its treadmills after injuries and the death of a child were linked to the products, led to further turbulence for the business. In February, when Mr. McCarthy took over as chief executive, the company laid off about 20 percent of its work force, some 2,800 workers.

Is car insurance tax deductible? ›

If you use your car strictly for personal use, you likely cannot deduct your car insurance costs on your tax return. Unless you use your car for business-related purposes, you are likely ineligible to claim your auto insurance premium on your tax return.

Do Peloton instructors have to buy their own clothes? ›

"We always have to wear at least one Peloton-branded article of clothing, but they encourage us to be authentic to ourselves and do as we want. I love cropping tanks, cutting sleeves off tees, making capris into bike shorts, and layering sports bras," Sims told me about her personal style.

What is the difference between a Fitness Instructor and a gym instructor? ›

Whether you're looking to gain a Fitness Instructor qualification, or looking to apply for Gym Instructor jobs, these are both essentially the same thing. Fitness Instructor and Gym Instructor are simply two ways of saying the same role; it just depends on what the person in question prefers to be called.

What's the difference between gym and Fitness Instructor? ›

Fitness Instructors usually have a Level 2 qualification which means that they often lack the ability and knowledge needed to deal with clients on a one-to-one basis, especially if they have ongoing health issues. Gym Instructors work in the gym (as the name suggests).

Do fitness instructors make a lot of money? ›

Group Fitness Instructor Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for group fitness instructors is $40,700 per year (1). There are, however, instructors who make much more than this and there are instructors who make less than this.

How can an LLC avoid paying taxes? ›

A general Corporation making a Subchapter “S” Election or an LLC with or without a Subchapter S Election pays no federal tax on its taxable income and no employment taxes on its distributions to stockholders.

How much expenses can an LLC write off? ›

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits how much you can deduct for LLC startup expenses. If your startup costs total $50,000 or less, you are entitled to deduct up to $5,000 for startup organizational costs.

How do I pay myself an LLC? ›

As an owner of a limited liability company, known as an LLC, you'll generally pay yourself through an owner's draw. This method of payment essentially transfers a portion of the business's cash reserves to you for personal use. For multi-member LLCs, these draws are divided among the partners.

What is the personal tax credit for 2022? ›

Basic personal amount: The basic personal amount for 2022 is $14,398 for taxpayers with net income of $155,625 or less. At income levels above $155,625, the basic personal amount is gradually clawed back until it reaches $12,719 for net income of $221,708.

What is the 1500 tax credit? ›

However, you may be able to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, which allows you to receive up to $1,500 of the $2,000 Child Tax Credit per child as a refund for 2022. This means you get a check for the remaining Child Tax Credit (up to $1,500 per child) after your tax bill is reduced to zero.

Who is eligible training tax credit? ›

you're a Canadian resident. you file a tax return. your CTC limit for the year is greater than zero. tuition or other fees were paid to an eligible educational institution for courses you took in the year for which you're claiming the credit, or to certain bodies for an occupational, trade, or professional examination.

What is line 30000 on tax return? ›

Line 30000 – Basic personal amount

See Line 30000 on the return to calculate the basic personal amount for the year.

Can I write off clothes for my job? ›

Include your clothing costs with your other "miscellaneous itemized deductions" on the Schedule A attachment to your tax return. Work clothes are among the miscellaneous deductions that are only deductible to the extent the total exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

What does a fitness instructor wear? ›

Trainers should stick with flexible clothing designed with athletic performance in mind. Board shorts or nicely cut jogging pants and a well-fitting t-shirt come off as much more appropriate for training sessions. You don't want anything making your training sessions harder to teach.

Is a fitness instructor self-employed? ›

A fitness instructor can work either as an employee or as an independent contractor i.e. someone that is self-employed. In fact, 62% of personal personal trainers and fitness instructors are self-employed.

Can a gym instructor be self-employed? ›

Many Personal Trainers have multiple sources of income. They may work for multiple gyms. They may have their own clients and they may help other Trainers with bigger jobs. Typically, Trainers are paid either as an employee (via a payslip with taxes taken out) or as a sole-trader (without taxes taken out).

Can I write off getting my nails done? ›

Personal appearance expenses, such as haircuts, makeup, and getting your nails done are also nondeductible. The only time you can write off hair costs is if you have your hair styled for a photo or video shoot.

Can you write off haircuts as a business expense? ›

Tax Deductions For Business Versus Personal Expenses

The IRS does not let you deduct personal expenses from your taxes. The Court states, expenses such as haircuts, makeup, clothes, manicures, grooming, teeth whitening, hair care, manicures, and other cosmetic surgery are not deductible.

What type of fitness instructor makes the most money? ›

Perhaps the most popular of the best paid jobs in fitness is a personal trainer.
#9- Personal Trainer
  • Conducting initial fitness assessments.
  • Carrying out 1-on-1 training sessions.
  • Creating tailored programs for clients.
  • Monitoring clients' progress.
  • Offering nutrition advice.
  • Find and retain clients.
Jan 6, 2022

What is the difference between fitness instructor and personal trainer? ›

A gym instructor is therefore a position where you have a contracted job, a gym employs you and you receive a salary. A personal trainer on the other hand, is more often undertaken on a freelance basis where the personal trainer will charge their own fees and deal directly with the clients.

Is a personal trainer a side job? ›

For many TRAINFITNESS graduates, being a personal trainer or fitness professional is not a full-time role – it's their fitness side hustle. A side hustle runs alongside full-time employment but relates more closely to your passions and brings greater job satisfaction as well as additional income.

How do independent personal trainers make money? ›

  1. Start an Online Fitness Studio. Online fitness studios are the best way for you to earn more money as a trainer. ...
  2. Launch a Fitness App. ...
  3. Live Stream Fitness Classes. ...
  4. Sell Downloadable Workout Plans. ...
  5. Sell Your Favorite Fitness Products. ...
  6. Sell Your Own Branded Fitness Products. ...
  7. Find Brand Sponsorships. ...
  8. Generate Advertising Revenue.
Apr 20, 2022

Is fitness instructor a good side hustle? ›

Even if you're not looking to train full time, personal training can be a lucrative side hustle idea you can easily work around a full-time work schedule. You can also make passive income by going online.


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