Work expenses for fitness industry employees can really mount up over the year, but we’ve got the answer to trimming them back.
It’s time to explore the world of fitness industry tax deductions for all you dedicated beings who tirelessly coax the rest of us into getting off our backsides and along to your boot-camps, cross-fit sessions, spin classes and other heart pumping, muscle labouring workouts. We may hate you as you slowly break us out of our couch-sloth ways, but there are very few things that give us the buzz of a hard earned PB so we cannot fail to thank you in the end!
So let’s make those early mornings, late nights, grumpy clients and mid-bootcamp downpours a little more palatable for you by putting a bit more cash in your cunningly concealed active wear pockets!
Fitness industry tax deductions – the basics.
Firstly, to claim any type of work-related expense as a fitness industry tax deduction the ATO states that:
- you must have spent the money yourself and weren’t reimbursed
- the expense was directly related to earning your income
- you must have a record to prove it.
So what exactly can you claim as a fitness trainer?
Does your uniform or gym gear display the logo of the gym or business you work for? If it does, you can claim the cost of purchasing, laundering and repairing it on your tax return.
Unfortunately, you can’t claim general gym clothing such as track pants, shorts, tights, tank tops, sports bras, sports shoes, socks or t-shirts. The ATO consider these conventional clothing that are wearable for personal use outside of work.
But you can claim the costs of protective items that you wear or use at work, such as sun protection items like hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Claim the costs of purchasing or hiring equipment used for your job if the item costs up to $300. If it costs more the $300 you’ll need to claim the depreciation on the item over a number of years. Your tax agent can help you with claiming depreciation.
Personal car use
If you use your car for work, such as trips between clients or classes, you can claim car expenses at a set rate per kilometre up to 5000km per year. The rate per kilometre changes per tax year, check the correct year rate here. Alternatively, keep a record of all your work related trips in a logbook for a minimum of 6 weeks to claim actual expenses.
You can’t claim for car trips to and from your usual place of work at the beginning and end of your shift. The exception to this rule is if you are required to transport heavy or bulky gym equipment and you are unable to store it at your place at work. (This is also the case for general travel expenses below)
If you are required to travel for your job, you can claim the cost of public transport, flights, taxis, parking, tolls and hire cars. If you need to stay overnight, the accommodation and associated costs, such as food and incidentals are also tax deductions for fitness industry employees.
Self-education is the best way to grow and develop your career. Continuous personal development is also essential in order to stay certified, competitive and up to date with trends and developments in your industry. The good news is that training directly related to your current position is generally tax deductible. This includes related costs such as certification fees, travel, equipment, etc.
Stay well-read. Claim the cost of publications and subscriptions relating to your job on your tax return. This really is a no brainer.
Union and association fees
Do you pay to be a member of fitness industry associations to maintain industry credibility? Or do you pay union fees? The costs of these are also on the tax deduction list.
Home office expenses
At home, do you run classes or personal training? Or do you regularly need to make phones calls, answer emails, or do general admin work that is related to your job? If so, you may be able to claim home office running expenses.
From 2023, you can claim home office running expenses in two ways;
- Actual Cost Method: The amount of actual expense incurred through an established pattern of use
- Or Revised Fixed Rate Method: at a rate of 67 cents per hour.
If you run your own business entirely from home or if your employer does not provide you with a place to work and your home is where you run all your classes or sessions with clients, you may claim home office occupancy expenses. Occupancy expenses are worked out on the business related percentage of the overall occupancy expenses of your home.
Other tax deductions
- Work-related phone expenses
- Work percentage of laptop usage
- Tax agent fees
- Charity donations
- Income protection insurance
- Deductions relating to investment costs
- Investment property expenses
Would you believe it!
It’s of no surprise to many that the ATO have some very strange rules when it comes to tax deductions. One quite unbelievable rule is fitness industry workers generally cannot include their own gym membership fees in their list of fitness industry tax deductions.
Although there are a few rare exceptions, the ATO save this one for elite sportspeople and a few defence workers. Apparently, although you need to be fit to do your job, the ATO doesn’t feel you need to be much above average fitness to be a fitness instructor or personal trainer.
Need to know more?
Not sure if your expenses can be claimed as a fitness industry tax deductions? No problem, register an Etax.com.au account and ask one of our friendly accountants.