Can I claim a tax deduction on my gym membership?

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Can you claim a tax deduction on your gym membership? You may think keeping fit is a big part of your job, but a gym membership tax deduction is only available to a small group of workers.

In general, a tax deduction for fitness expenses is only available if your job requires you to have an extremely high level of fitness. This will depend on the physical demands and requirements of your specific role.

The ATO are strict on who can claim this tax deduction and sometimes it can be difficult to know who is eligible.

Who can claim this tax deduction?

For example, some firefighters can claim a tax deduction for their gym membership. A “general duties firefighter” role cannot claim a deduction for the money they have spent keeping fit, but a firefighter in a specialist search and rescue operations team, trained in a range of specialist skills including structural collapses and tunnel emergencies, and who is tested on fitness and ongoing strenuous physical activity as an essential part of their job, would be able to claim fitness expenses.

Similarly to this, a Police Officer cannot claim their gym membership on tax unless they’re part of a specialist response unit. Surprising, right?

Another example is a professional ballet dancer who is likely to be able to claim their fitness expenses on tax as their job is a sport which requires a high level of fitness to perform.

More occupations that may be able to claim this tax deduction are:

  • Personal trainers
  • Group fitness trainers
  • Fitness or sports coaches
  • Athletes

Overall, access to a tax deduction is about the specialist physical demands and requirements of your role.

So, for the rest of us, gym memberships will continue to be a labour of self-love and care and not an essential part of how we earn our income.

To find out if you can claim a tax deduction on your gym membership, contact your Aintree Group advisor today!