It is a common misconception that everything related to your fitness business is a tax deduction. In reality, there are some limitations and rules that you need to be aware of. Many think just because something is used “while running your business” constitutes it is a tax deduction.
For example: Can you get a tax deduction for your gym gear & fitness clothing? In general, no. You wear it for creating fitness content, training clients, etc...so why not? As a general rule, the IRS has repeatedly rejected tax deductions for clothing that can be worn both for work and personal.
Conversely, the IRS does allow business-related clothing used as uniforms specifically for a job function, such as scrubs for a healthcare worker. The difference between these two is that scrubs are considered to be work-related only.
As a Fitness Entrepreneur, the IRS considers your clothing the same as it does a lawyer's suit. In the eyes of the IRS, despite the gym outfits that you wear to make video content, train clients, etc., it is not a tax deduction because it is both work & personal clothing.
Tax Deductible Marketing Expenses
However, there is a strategy to convert your gym clothing into business tax deductions. To do this, you need to convert your gym gear into marketing and advertising clothing. But what qualifies for a tax-deductible marketing expense?
The IRS states that a marketing expense must be "ordinary & necessary" for your specific industry. So for a Fitness Entrepreneur, common marketing expenses would be:
• Social Media & Google Paid Ads
• Photoshoots & Social Media Content Creation
• Video/Social Media Design & Editing
Lastly, another common marketing expense that can help your cause is Promotional/Advertising Spending. In the same way, a bank gives out pens with their name and logo on them as a marketing tax write-off. You can turn your gym gear into a walking advertisement for your Fitness Business. If you add your logo to your gym clothing, it is now a legitimate marketing business expense.
To qualify, the logo cannot be small and/or hidden and be clearly visible and prominently displayed. For example, you cannot add your logo to the inside pocket of your shorts. That would not be visible, and thus would not qualify as a marketing promotion. If you need to take your clothing to a printer or a seamstress to add your logo, the cost of adding the logo is also a tax deduction.
As a Fitness Entrepreneur, there are many tax advantages built into what you wear. However, I recommend you don’t make the mistake of spending money on something you do not need just to get a tax write-off.
Instead, focus on looking for legal ways to convert your existing expenses into legitimate business write-offs.
Disclaimer: This is meant to be educational and not tax advice for your specific fitness business. Please consult a qualified tax professional before making any changes to your tax deductions.