Getting Financially Fit: Tax Deductions for Personal Trainers

September 29, 2014
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There are several tax deductions for personal trainers to help them reduce their IRS tax bills.

There are several tax deductions for personal trainers to help them reduce their IRS tax bills.

Do you work as a personal trainer helping others get physically fit every day? If so, it’s time to reap some of the IRS tax benefits you deserve by getting your own finances in shape. In honor of National Family Health and Fitness Day this past weekend, let’s explore some tax deductions for personal trainers:

Exercise Equipment/Supplies

Personal trainers often work with their clients using a variety of exercise equipment. From hand weights to treadmills to elliptical machines, there are so many tools trainers encourage their clients to use in order to get fit. If you purchase this equipment for your small business, the IRS will allow you to take a tax deduction on it. For example, you may have a training room set up in your home, and your clients come over to work out there. In this case, you’d be able to write off any equipment costs since they are incurred as business expenses. This can mean big because high-quality exercise equipment can be quite expensive. You can’t simply deduct your home gym if you aren’t using it for a business-related purpose.

Certification & Education Costs

Becoming a personal trainer generally requires people to obtain some type of certificate or go through an educational course. In addition, there may be requirements on maintaining these certifications over time, or you may wish to advance your career by enrolling in personal training courses in the future. Once again, the IRS allows personal trainers to write off any costs associated with these business-related necessities. This includes books, supplies, and subscriptions to fitness websites, publications, or journals that are relevant to your work. Plus, if you belong to a professional association in your field, you may be able to deduct certain fees involved in having a membership.

Travel Expenses

If you travel to seminars, conferences, or events for personal trainers, you can claim your travel and hotel costs as an IRS tax deduction. Of course, like all small business owners, you can claim 50% of your meals and entertainment while traveling for business reasons. In certain cases, you may be able to write off mileage on your personal vehicle (56 cents per mile) or actual vehicle expenses (gas, tolls, maintenance, etc.) when driving from one gym to another, from a gym to a client’s home, or from a client’s home to a gym.

Liability & Health Insurance Premiums

Working out is very beneficial from a health perspective. However, we’re all human, which is why both you and your clients are at risk of a potential injury when lifting weights, riding a stationary bike, or bouncing off the walls on a giant exercise ball. This is where insurance comes into play – and it’s commonly one of the overlooked tax deductions for personal trainers. If you obtain your own liability insurance plan, the IRS considers this cost to be a business expense, making it tax deductible. Plus, if you work as a self-employed small business owner and buy your own health insurance, you may be able to write off 100% or a large percentage of it as a business expense.

Unreimbursed Employee Expenses

Let’s say you are not self-employed and instead work as a personal trainer at your local gym under W-2 employee status. Because most equipment and resources are provided to you at your place of employment in such cases, your IRS tax deductions related to work will be limited. However, you may be able to claim some of your unreimbursed employee expenses on your tax return.

Keep in mind that in order to claim any of these tax deductions for personal trainers, you must itemize your deductions when filing your taxes with Uncle Sam.

For more tax deductions for personal trainers and those in other professions, turn to the accounting experts at 1-800Accountant. Whether you’re a small business owner or an individual, we can help you keep more of the money you work hard to make. Call 1-800-222-6868 or visit www.1-800Accountant.

This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. 1-800Accountant assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.