Is My Gym Membership Tax Deductible?

Fitness Tips

Is My Gym Membership Tax Deductible?

Tax season is officially underway, and if you’re wondering whether your gym membership is tax deductible, you’re not the only uncertain one.

It’s a simple enough question, but one that can definitely add some stress to an already taxing (pun intended) time of year. We’ve done the research for you to get to the bottom of this worthwhile question.

The short answer

No – unfortunately, health club memberships mostly tend to fall under general personal expenses, and cannot be deducted from your taxes. However, don’t lose hope just yet; this isn’t always the case. Read on to find out more about the topic.

The detailed answer

The IRS Publication 502 states: “You cannot include in medical expenses the cost of membership in any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose.” If your purpose for joining the health club is for general health and well-being, you’re out of luck on the tax deduction.

There’s a chance your gym membership may be eligible as a medical deduction. In order for this to count, you must have a doctor’s official written documentation of a specific medical condition diagnosis. The health facility that you are a member of must be used to specifically treat that diagnosis, as part of your doctor’s recommended prescription. Go forth and include your gym membership dues in your medical expenses when you’ve met the above criteria.

A brief recap

If your doctor has given you the general recommendation that you should improve your health by increasing your activity level, and you choose to join a gym as a result, it will not count as a medical deduction on your taxes. Remember, it must be a specific, documented diagnosis and recommendation on behalf of your doctor.

We hope this information solves some confusion around the topic of health club memberships and their ability to be tax deductible. On a related note, read our post that discusses whether your treadmill or elliptical purchase is tax deductible.

*Please consult a tax expert if you have any concerns or questions about whether or not your gym membership is tax deductible.

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Katie Dobbs
Katie Dobbs's picture

Katie grew up under the Big Sky of Montana, but she has since moved to the beautiful city of Seattle. She is a self-proclaimed food connoisseur who loves playing in the great outdoors, traveling, and learning new things.

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