You’re a fitness instructor running your own business or working for yourself out of a separate location (YMCA, local gym, etc.).
You’re rockin’ your client workouts, working hard in and out of the gym, but you’re unsure of the tax situation of your job. And now… you’re looking for clarity on fitness instructor tax deductions!
I totally get it. I may not be a fitness instructor, but I know how tricky it can be to navigate the financial side of owning your own business!
I’ve worked with a variety of yoga instructors, personal trainers & dojo masters over the years to streamline their accounting and maximize tax deductions, so today I thought I’d share a helpful tax deduction list to get you started.
Before we dive in, you should know there are a few fitness instructor tax deductions that have some general confusion around them. Largely that’s because small business tax law isn’t well understood by those outside of small business tax pros.
I want you take take as many deductions as possible! and that’s why I mention the confusion piece. See, I believe in tax literacy, and I know what a difference it can make for you (likely it will save you hundreds if not thousands in taxes every year.)
So keep an eye on the deductions below marked by an asterisk (we’ll come back to those further down).
Fitness Instructor Tax Deductions
- Your blog theme and purchased plug-ins
- Your hosting (such as BlueHost)
- Your domain
- Any web design services or maintenance
- Professional photography for promotional materials
- Professional videography for promotional materials or training you offer clients
- Professional conferences and workshops admission (local and far)
- Any professional certifications, licenses, training, or continued education
- Lodging, transportation & travel costs to professional events *
- Professional styling (if needed for professional videos) *
- Graphic design
- Business Cards
- Promotional Mailings
- Printing of Letterhead or Promotional Papers
- Purchased fonts and stock photography
- Food (possibly for hosted gatherings, as props, etc.) *
- Professional dues & subscriptions
- Editing of photos and/or videography *
- Content writers and collaborators for website or printed materials
- Virtual assistants
- 1099 subcontractor staff
- Shakes, supplements, etc. (IF these are your inventory and you sell them to your clients) *
- Payroll processing (If you need help figuring out what to pay yourself, try here. For a payroll processing recommendation, here.)
- Professional e-courses that will elevate your skills for running and growing your business
- Giveaways *
- Materials for photos & film shoots (job materials) *
- Commissions paid out
- Business gifts
- +26 more fitness instructor tax deductions (download your free checklist to get access to these 26 additional deductions below)
To get the complete tax deduction list with 26 more fitness instructor tax deductions, make sure you download your free checklist here:
That’s a great start, right??
This list is practically everything that you can might be able to write off as a fitness instructor.
Now, you might have noticed that personal products like meal supplements, diet drinks and shakes don’t show up on here as a tax deduction. That’s because Section 262 of the Internal Revenue Code doesn’t allow us to take any deductions for personal, living & family expenses–and it imposes some hefty penalties to those who try to write these off.
To clarify, if you sell inventory of meal supplements, diet drinks, shakes, etc., that’s a business deduction – but NOT your personal consumption of it.
Also – did you notice that workout equipment is only a tax deduction if you use if exclusively for clients? Yep. Section 262 applies here too. Now, of course, if you work with a range of clients, I expect that you will be writing off some workout equipment (my tall male trainer certainly doesn’t use the same workout bands or weights I do as a smaller woman).
And gym memberships? Well… it’s actually fairly unlikely that you’ll write-off gym memberships. You may think “But I’m a fitness instructor.” Yes, but you can only write-off gym memberships IF you’ve joined a specific gym at a client’s request because that’s where they want to work out. In other words, you can’t deduct your personal gym where you workout (Section 262 again). But you can deduct fees for a gym membership at which you train clients.
Okay – wait, we’re going talk about the asterisks on this list, right?
Yep! So, here’s the deal. I marked a few of the deductions on the list above with an asterisk because they’re more complex and taking them is going to require a little extra legwork on your part.
If you choose to take one of these deductions, please make sure you understand all the legal requirements, and keep complete records to secure their validity. If you’re unsure about any of these deductions or need help figuring things out for your specific situation, I offer 30-minute & one-hour consults to help you get the clarity and information you need.
Over to You:
Was there anything in this list of fitness instructor tax deductions you didn’t expect? Do you have experience with tax deductions for fitness instructing? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!