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Tax deduct your personal trainer?

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  • #16
    Many big corporations pay for exercise classes/gym membership/wellness activities.

    Couldn't a physician who is a self proprietor or corporation pay for his personal trainer this way?

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    • #17




      Many big corporations pay for exercise classes/gym membership/wellness activities.

      Couldn’t a physician who is a self proprietor or corporation pay for his personal trainer this way?
      Click to expand...


      Apologize, I hit "like" first instead of "quote"  ops:

      You cannot pay for a gym membership for yourself through your small business (schedule C or S-corporation) because it is not an "ordinary and necessary" expense of doing business to provide yourself (or your spouse) with a gym membership or personal trainer. If you want to go so far as to set up a PSC (Personal Service Corporation) for your business, I believe it would be deductible as an employee fringe benefit.
      Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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      • #18
        There's something like a 10% AGI floor for deducting medical expenses.  So good luck hitting that.

        As far as getting a doctor to write a note for an FSA account, not especially difficult, particularly when you're an MD already. 

         

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        • #19

          A wishful fantasy to avoid.   If gym membership and personal trainers were deductible,  the costs would skyrocket.  Tax support inflates the prices we pay for college tuitions, homes, electric vehicles, and  health insurance. 

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          • #20



            ...but I have deducted the cost of a swimming pool.


            Click to expand...



            Lol, impressive.  Can you share a bit more details on this?

            I should have been a pair of ragged claws. Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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            • #21






              …but I have deducted the cost of a swimming pool.


              Click to expand…



              Lol, impressive.  Can you share a bit more details on this?


              Click to expand...



              Sad story. It was a prescription from a doctor for a kid who was run over by a bus and left permanently crippled. He was in daycare and the provider settled for high 6 figures (this was about 25 years ago). Unfortunately, the parents eventually began enjoying the pool a little too much and "allowed" him to pay for too many toys and the money was gone by the time he reached adulthood. Sad beginning, sad ending. I was their CPA, wasn't a CFP back then.

              Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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              • #22

                Gah, that's horrible and I'm sorry to hear that.  I mentioned in another reply that I did taxes for years as a side gig while in the military.  It was an incredibly interesting experience and the clients made it even more so.  That being said, it could be an emotionally draining job as well.  You saw people at their best and worst, and many times knew more about their personal lives than their close family.  A lot of people don't realize just how personal that job gets.  


                 

                I should have been a pair of ragged claws. Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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                • #23

                  Just beware that anything (trainers, bikes, hot tubs, pools, exercise regiments) you Tax Deduct as Medically necessary can come back to haunt you if and when you later apply for some life or disability insurance.  It becomes very difficult to convince an underwriter that those things are not big deals if they are used for 'medical treatment'.  We have dealt with hundreds of records over the years for our clients that bought the hot tub for back issues, massages (medically prescribed) PT that was more of a trainer and the such but once we apply for coverage's then those things come into focus and the typical carrier comment is "well did they tell the truth before that it was a problem and now not telling us the truth or did they not tell them the truth before but now are telling us the truth"?  Just be mindful since you don't want to be in a position where you are not being forthright in your disclosures.

                  Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC
                  303-953-0263 Direct / [email protected]

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                  • #24

                    Why does being able to deduct the expense sound so surprising to everyone?


                    There's minimal difference between PT, rehab and personal training. The first two buckets are clearly deductible medical expenses. I know a handful of trainers who work with various Crossfit boxes to provide therapeutic massage and various bodywork services that are reimbursed by insurance. If the "personal training" is necessary to improve physical limitations or recover from trauma, it's definitely a deductible expense. I'm about eighteen month post-op for hip labral repair along with severe glute atrophy and have seen all the those folks during the first year. All legitimate deductible medical expenses. Heck, the insurance company didn't even raise a flag for the providers that take insurance.


                    A doctor referral and not calling it personal training make it far more likely to pass with the IRS (and that's only if it's questioned in the first place), just like I wouldn't call my business trip with family members a "family vacation". Whether it's worthwhile to deduct it depends on how your medical expenses are paid. It could be paid through insurance, HSA, reimbursed through a company MERP or paid directly through a company MERP regardless of the total annual amount.


                    If the real question is "How do I deduct my gym membership and favorite personal trainer", the answer is don't.

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