It’s tax season, and it might have you wondering if your recent treadmill purchase (or other fitness equipment) is tax deductible.
To help people afford their medical treatment and maintain their health, the United States government permits its citizens to deduct medical care costs. In fact, according to the IRS Publication 502, you may even be able to deduct the cost of fitness equipment, such as treadmills, on your tax return if you are using the equipment for your medical care.
About the IRS Medical Tax Deduction
The IRS requires you to itemize your tax return for you to qualify for medical expense deductions.
To treat some medical conditions, your doctor may recommend that you begin a steady workout regime. In this case, you may be able to claim the expense of purchasing exercise equipment like a treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike. To deduct medical expenses, you’ll need to report them on Form 1040 in the Schedule A section of the document along with your other itemized deductions.
Keep in mind that the IRS limits the amount of medical expenses that you can claim based on a percentage of your annual earnings. Specifically, you can claim medical costs that are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. For instance, if your yearly income is $45,000, then you can deduct medical expenses that are more than $3,375. You can also include any medical expenses that you paid for during the tax year in which you are claiming the deduction. Therefore, if you paid $6,000 for out of pocket medical charges, then you can deduct $2,625 on the Schedule A form.
Exercise Equipment and Medical Expenses
If your doctor told you to begin walking or jogging on a treadmill to lose weight because obesity is causing you to have health problems, then you may be able to deduct the expense of buying the item.
To avoid trouble with the IRS, be sure to acquire the workout recommendation from your doctor in writing. Also, be prepared for a denial since the government agency could decide that you can get exercise by walking outside without a treadmill. However, if the IRS denies your deduction request, then you can debate the issue due to safety concerns. For instance, if you can only workout at night due to your work or family schedule, then it may be unsafe for you to walk outside alone in your area. In addition, if you live in a part of the country that experiences extreme weather conditions then you may also dispute the denial for the deduction.
Some states may allow you to avoid paying sales tax on exercise equipment when your doctor suggests that you start working out regularly. Be sure to keep a copy of the doctor’s order along with your exercise equipment receipt to verify the recommendation during an audit.
If your doctor has told you that you should begin a regular workout routine, then look into the possibility of receiving a tax deduction for the purchase of exercise equipment. With an approved deduction, you can maintain your health and your personal budget.
- IRS: Medical and Dental Expenses (Including the Health Coverage Tax Credit)
- Livestrong: What Is a Medical Tax Deduction?
- TurboTax Blog: Is Your Weight Loss Tax Deductible?
*Please consult a tax expert if you have any concerns or questions about whether or not your fitness equipment purchase is tax deductible.