Tax Tips for Australian Fitness Industry
Tax Tips for Fitness Industry
Author: Aziz Hassan
May 20, 2021 · 5 min read
If you work in the personal training or fitness instruction industry, then it is vital that you understand what you are can and can’t claim on your taxes.
We have drafted an easy to comprehend checklist, covering all of the deductions that all fitness industry workers can claim on their taxes this coming tax year.
It is important to note: This does not include many of the deductions that are available to everyone, especially those operating their own business. These deductions will not be listed here. Instead, we will focus on the deductions specific to the fitness industry.
If you’d like to know more about the complete scope of deductions you are eligible for, then we recommend that you reach out to one of our Immunity Accounting tax professionals. They will be able to make sure you make the most of tax time.
Travel and Meals
As with any travel deduction, you cannot claim your daily commute to and from work. There is an exception to this rule, however, in the form of moving large equipment needed for your job. If you are required to move this equipment to and from work, then you may be eligible for a deduction.
Another exception is provided for travel between locations, whilst at work. This includes moving between two gyms, or between locations for your personal training appointments.
The rate at which you can claim work travel costs is capped at sixty-eight cents per kilometre, only counting the kilometres travelled for work purposes.
There is, however, another route that you are entitled to take. You may claim the total cost of your travel undertaken for work purposes. If you choose this route, you’ll need to make sure your record-keeping has been kept up to date. This includes a logbook detailing all of your work-related travels.
It is also important to note: You are not permitted to claim the cost of attending sporting events. The only context in which this is acceptable is in the event that you are actively working to coach a member of this event. If you’re not there on a professional basis, it cannot be deducted.
If your work requires a specific uniform, such as a piece of clothing with a logo, then you are entitled to claim a deduction for it. This includes both the purchase and cleaning, of the uniform itself.
However, a nuance to this rule is that you are not entitled to claim a deductable for recommended clothing. This includes being asked to wear a plain uniform (no logo), certain pants, shoes, as well as any general fitness-related clothing.
If you operate classes outdoors, then you are entitled to claim the cost of sun protection items. This includes sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen.
The Purchase of Fitness Equipment
For any fitness equipment purchased for the purpose of your work, you are entitled to a claim of up to $300. In the event that the equipment costs more, then you may claim the cost of the item spread out over the lifespan of the asset itself.
These deductions are offered only for equipment used for professional use, however, there is an understanding by the ATO that this equipment is often part of your personal collection as well. If the assets are also used for personal needs, then you can only claim the work-related aspect of their use.
If you operate your own fitness business and are not employed by another business for your services, then you are entitled to an instant asset write off up to a value of $30,000 each. This can also be done immediately, as opposed to writing them off over the course of their lifespan.
On top of fitness equipment, you are also entitled to a tax break for any other capital assets used in your business. These include, but are not limited to:
- TV sets and other equipment used to establish the atmosphere of your business
- Office equipment, such as desks, chairs and cabinets
- Technology such as laptops, desktop computers, phones and tablets that are used for your business
- Motor vehicles used for your business
You are entitled to claim expenses for university and TAFE fees, as long as the course itself relates to your current employment. This is only in the event that you are not being directly reimbursed, or sponsored, by your employer.
For example, A personal trainer, or fitness instructor, may claim the cost of their Certificate IV TAFE course, as well as any costs that directly contribute to that learning. This deductible does not extend to Certificate III courses of any kind.
If your job also requires you to undertake professional development, or refresher courses, to keep you up to date with industry trends in fitness and health, those costs can also be deductible. As long as the learning is directly linked to your current employment.
There are many other deductions you can make as someone working in the fitness industry. These include:
- Any monthly membership fees that are required for your job (Not including personal gym memberships.)
- Any text materials that are required for your work.
- Costs incurred from the use of your mobile device, but only if these costs are separate from your monthly standard fee.
- Equipment hiring fees that are required for your work.
It is common for those in the fitness industry to assume that gym memberships are deductible. Your personal fitness is a vital selling point to your work, and a gym membership unlocks your ability to keep up with that side of your job.
Sadly, the ATO has made a clear distinction in their stance on this type of claim. Gym memberships are not deductible for the majority of those in the fitness industry. The only exceptions provided are for those that require a well above the normal level of fitness, such as a professional athlete.
Remember to Keep Records!
Records are the backbone of making the most out of your deductions. Keeping receipts, a travel logbook, and detailed records will help you significantly when it comes to tax time. Forming a habit to keep this element of your business in line could see you with thousands more in returns.
Make sure to keep all relevant receipts, invoices, bank statements, and credit card statements. If you’re not sure what to keep, or what’s relevant to your claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our Immunity Accounting specialists.
Do you still have questions about lodging your tax return? Talk to Immunity Accounting. Our experienced tax specialists will be able to help. Call 1300 514 191 for details or book an appointment online.