On July 25, 2018, the 2018 PHIT Act was passed by the U.S.  House of Representatives. Now PHIT heads to the Senate.

If written into law, this bill would allow for some fitness expenses to be deemed a write-off, meaning your gym membership could be one step closer to qualifying as a tax break.

Aside from a gym membership additional activities and expenses that would be covered if the bill becomes law include safety equipment used in an exercise program performed in either a formal setting or self-directed.

Additional eligible fitness expenses would include:

  • Exercise Classes
  • Personal Trainers
  • Dumbbells & Free Weights
  • Medicine Balls
  • Race & Fitness Event Registration Fees
  • Resistance Bands
  • Treadmills, Elliptical & other equipment
  • Martial Arts Classes
  • Yoga accessories
  • Training Aids
  • Fitness Trackers

According to an article released by CNBC,

The tax break would be limited to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for heads of households and couples who file joint tax returns.

To receive your tax break, you would need to count your medical expenses against your income and itemize your deductions. The eligible health care costs would need to exceed a certain amount of your AGI (adjusted gross income) in order to be a deductible. “For 2018, that threshold is 7.5 percent. In 2019, it goes to 10 percent,” as stated by CNBC.

Gym memberships, weight loss programs, and fitness classes are currently only deductible for taxpayers who have a qualifying medical condition that meets certain criteria.  If this new bill becomes law, it could help the many others who are looking to make an investment in their health.

For those unfamiliar, in 2017 a nearly identical bill was proposed known as PHIT America which promoted individuals to get active and encouraged healthy physical activity.

You can find the full PDF version of the bill here.

Sources:

  1. O’Brien, Sarah. “That Gym Membership Is a Step Closer to Being a Tax Break.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 July 2018, www.cnbc.com/2018/07/12/your-gym-membership-is-a-step-closer-to-being-a-tax-break.html.
  2. Erb, Kelly Phillips. “Congress Considers Bill To Make Gym Memberships, Fitness Classes Tax Deductible.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 19 July 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2018/07/14/congress-considers-bill-to-make-gym-memberships-fitness-classes-tax-deductible/.
  3. Smith, Jason. “Text – H.R.6312 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): PHIT Act.” Congress.gov, 19 July 2018, www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6312/text.

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