Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Tax deduct your personal trainer?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tax deduct your personal trainer?

    Anyone ever done this before? My understanding is that you need a physician to write you a prescription for a personal trainer for a specific illness to improve...like obesity, HTN, high cholesterol etc.

    Has anyone ever done this? What documentation would I need for the IRS other than say the prescription or a letter from the physician? Thanks so much for your help.

  • #2
    I'm definitely not a tax expert, but if you're trying to count it as a medical expense, you're going to have to pass a certain threshold of expenses before you can deduct anything, so if you don't have enough other medical expenses it's not even worth it.

    I guess you could be talking about running it through a flex spending acct.   Doesn't sound like it would work, but I can't think of an exact reason why not.  Hopefully someone with expertise will come along and sort it out.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't imagine you can do that.

      HSA specifically says you can't use it for gym premiums.

      Would seem odd to be able to deduct an expense that isn't allowable as an HSA expense.

      Comment


      • #4




        I can’t imagine you can do that.

        HSA specifically says you can’t use it for gym premiums.

        Would seem odd to be able to deduct an expense that isn’t allowable as an HSA expense.
        Click to expand...


        Well playing devil's advocate here, gym and personal trainer are different.  Does it say only gym or does it include trainer also?

        If you've got a home gym, you could have a personal trainer come and coach you through some exercises.

        Alternatively, you could pay dues for a gym with taxable income and then pay for a personal trainer on top of that.  One could argue that the trainer's fees are separate from the gym membership and it was prescribed, so that part can be a deductible medical expense.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmm....super interested to see if this works for you. I wouldnt mind using my bike against HSA funds, etc....or I should say my new bike(s) of course. I can have receipts and a link to my strava page with KOMs and training goals for documentation.

          Comment


          • #6




            Hmm….super interested to see if this works for you. I wouldnt mind using my bike against HSA funds, etc….or I should say my new bike(s) of course. I can have receipts and a link to my strava page with KOMs and training goals for documentation.
            Click to expand...


            Well I guess step one would be someone writing you a prescription for that bike.  Let me know if you figure that one out without getting anyone to lie.

            Comment


            • #7
              Even if you could, it would be subject to a 10% of income floor on Schedule A line 1. That's not going to leave you much on a physician income unless 3 of your family members also got cancer that year.

              By the way, this topic is covered in Publication 502. You might try page 2 where it says this:
              What Are Medical Expenses? Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes. Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. They don't include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation. Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care. Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.

              Page 16 interesting too:
              Health Club Dues You can't include in medical expenses health club dues or amounts paid to improve one's general health or to relieve physical or mental discomfort not related to a particular medical condition. You can't include in medical expenses the cost of membership in any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose.

              And Zaphod's bike is a no-go per page 17:
              Personal Use Items You can't include in medical expenses the cost of an item ordinarily used for personal, living, or family purposes unless it is used primarily to prevent or alleviate a physical or mental defect or illness. For example, the cost of a toothbrush and toothpaste is a nondeductible personal expense. In order to accommodate an individual with a physical defect, you may have to purchase an item ordinarily used as a personal, living, or family item in a special form. You can include the excess of the cost of the item in a special form over the cost of the item in normal form as a medical expense.
              Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

              Comment


              • #8




                Very unlikely this will fly

                Why wouldn’t everyone do it

                Everyone is working out for health reasons

                And you can’t point to anyone advertising that you can hire them as a deductible expense
                Click to expand...


                I assume the stumbling block is the prescription, which would make it a medically necessary expense.

                For example if you just go get a massage, that's not deductible.  But if you go get a prescription for massage therapy (where they're doing the exact same massage) then it's a medical expense (and you might even be able to run it through your insurance).

                However, if that is the only barrier, I'm not sure that's enough.  I think with that we would still see it a lot.  Basically you'd have docs just willing to give out prescriptions for personal trainers like those guys who will fill out the paperwork for anyone to get an emotional support animal, medical marijuana, etc. if you just pay their fee.

                Comment


                • #9




                  Even if you could, it would be subject to a 10% of income floor on Schedule A line 1. That’s not going to leave you much on a physician income unless 3 of your family members also got cancer that year.

                  By the way, this topic is covered in Publication 502. You might try page 2 where it says this:
                  What Are Medical Expenses? Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes. Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. They don’t include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation. Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care. Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.

                  Page 16 interesting too:
                  Health Club Dues You can’t include in medical expenses health club dues or amounts paid to improve one’s general health or to relieve physical or mental discomfort not related to a particular medical condition. You can’t include in medical expenses the cost of membership in any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose.

                  And Zaphod’s bike is a no-go per page 17:
                  Personal Use Items You can’t include in medical expenses the cost of an item ordinarily used for personal, living, or family purposes unless it is used primarily to prevent or alleviate a physical or mental defect or illness. For example, the cost of a toothbrush and toothpaste is a nondeductible personal expense. In order to accommodate an individual with a physical defect, you may have to purchase an item ordinarily used as a personal, living, or family item in a special form. You can include the excess of the cost of the item in a special form over the cost of the item in normal form as a medical expense.

                  Click to expand...


                  A lot of this doesn't apply because OP specified that he would get a prescription, which automatically makes it more than just merely beneficial to general health.  For example B12 is a vitamin, but I'm pretty sure if you've got pernicious anemia, then it's prescribed, deductible (after threshold or through flex spending acct), and even covered by insurance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, this could fly with the appropriate need and the cooperation of a physician who has recommended specific exercises that the OP needs a personal trainer for. If the OP would not otherwise need a personal trainer, I would have no problem taking that deduction. Of course, there is a threshold to overcome, but OP d/n ask about that.

                    I have not taken this specific deduction (that i can recall) but I have deducted the cost of a swimming pool.
                    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      interesting responses.

                      i have a hard time imagining a scenario where one would need a trainer for a medical reason that wasn't physical therapy for a specific injury, which is absolutely deductible.

                      as others have said, everyone could just have their doc write "back pain" or some crap and write off a high end gym. in general my study of the tax code reveals that the IRS does not allow cute tricks that a ton of people could take advantage of. the Backdoor Roth is a notable exception.

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        interesting responses.

                        i have a hard time imagining a scenario where one would need a trainer for a medical reason that wasn’t physical therapy for a specific injury, which is absolutely deductible.

                        as others have said, everyone could just have their doc write “back pain” or some crap and write off a high end gym. in general my study of the tax code reveals that the IRS does not allow cute tricks that a ton of people could take advantage of. the Backdoor Roth is a notable exception.
                        Click to expand...


                        Yeah, that's kind of been my point through this whole thread.  You need to get a prescription and to do that the doc essentially has to lie.

                        But some docs make a business of that kind of lie (e.g. emotional support animals, medical marijuana, handicapped parking, etc.).   Personal trainers are not exactly cheap, but I still think that someone trying to find a doc to tell this lie for them is not going to be easy (so that they can get what amounts to a small tax break)  Probably not worth it to anyone rich enough to spend a lot on personal training.

                        And on the other side there is probably not enough demand that a doc is going to compromise themselves for the handful of patients that request personal training prescriptions.   Maybe if we expand it to things like gyms, bikes, and swimming pools, that could be enough.

                        However, anyone who is going to the gym/getting personal training enough that this represents a significant tax cut is going to be healthy enough that it would be hard for anyone to any doc to justify that it is medically necessary.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can you elaborate about the threshold? I'm an Independent Contractor. Lets say that my estimated income as an example would be 400k. Does that mean my personal trainer expense would have to be 40k or it wouldnt even count?

                          Or does that mean my total deductions has to overcome 40k or deductions for health reasons (including health insurance, etc) has to overcome 40k?

                          What if I was set up as an S corp and paid myself 250k with distribution of 150k? Then 25k?

                           

                          Thank you all for explaining.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How much exactly are you spending on this personal trainer?

                            Comment


                            • #15




                              Can you elaborate about the threshold? I’m an Independent Contractor. Lets say that my estimated income as an example would be 400k. Does that mean my personal trainer expense would have to be 40k or it wouldnt even count?

                              Or does that mean my total deductions has to overcome 40k or deductions for health reasons (including health insurance, etc) has to overcome 40k?

                              What if I was set up as an S corp and paid myself 250k with distribution of 150k? Then 25k?

                               
                              Click to expand...


                              You can deduct medical expenses (aggregated) only in excess of your AGI. Your AGI would include your net IC income and any other taxable income reduced by deductions such as solo-401k contributions, HSA contributions, net loss from S-corp, etc. It's the bottom line on page 1 of your 1040. So, for example, if your bottom line totals $350k and your total medical expenses = $40k, you can deduct $5k of medical expenses on your schedule A.
                              Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X