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17+ Gym Owner Tax Deductions | Sweat Equity

17+ Gym Owner Tax Deductions | Sweat Equity

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on December 24, 2022 — Updated on November 14, 2023

Today we learn all about common tax deductions for fitness businesses, along with a big list of gym owner tax deductions (and some bonus personal trainer tax deductions) that will help you with your gym tax planning, hopefully saving you save money as a gym owner (while providing some pretty amazing gym software – ahem) and loading up on gym tax deduction tips. And, who says gym owner tax planning can’t also be fun? Ok, well maybe not fun exactly, but read on for specific fitness business tax deductions with just a touch of humor. (We have tax deduction memes?)

Welcome, this is Sweat Equity from Exercise.com, where we cover everything about the business of fitness. We’re like Rich Froning meets Richard Branson.

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Let’s get into it…

  • 💰 Gym Owner Tax Deductions: 17 Common Tax Deductions for Fitness Businesses
  • 📸 Fitness Meme of the Month
  • 💪 Book Recommendation – First: What It Takes to Win by Rich Froning

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Gym Owner Tax Deductions: 17 Common Tax Deductions for Fitness Businesses

Gym owner tax planning guide full of hot and fresh tax deductions you can use today.

Are you taking all of the gym owner tax deductions you are able to take? As a fitness business owner, you spend the year running your business so that it not only generates sales (revenue) but that after all of the expenses are paid then there is a healthy amount of profit left over. (Read More: How profitable is owning a gym?)

Ah yes, profit.

Well, not so fast. If you are an American tax payer, then as is true in most countries, the government will have something to say about how those profits are divided up. So, how is it divided up? 

The short answer: they want some.

And maybe more than you think.

So, what can you do?

Taking all of the tax deductions that you are lawfully entitled to is one way to reduce the amount of taxable income that you have, ultimately resulting in less tax you will owe as a fitness business owner. 

Here is a list of 17 fitness business owner tax deductions, ranging from common to creative, general to specific. 

  1. Marketing, Advertising, & Promotion – FB ads? Yep. Flyers? Yes. Billboards? Absolutely.
  2. Insurance – Health, Business, Dental, Worker’s Comp, etc.
  3. Business Meals & Entertainment – Team dinners, employee CEU lunch and learns, and more
  4. Bank Interest & Bank Fees – Don’t forget about these.
  5. Business Use of Car – Drive time to teach an outdoor boot camp? Yes. Family vacation to Disney World. Not so much. 
  6. Contract Labor – 1099 expenses. Don’t forget to track them.
  7. Depreciation – Rely on a good CPA to help you depreciate things like fitness equipment.
  8. Legal & Professional Fees – Those same CPA fees, attorney fees, etc.
  9. Moving Expenses – Easy to forget about this one.
  10. Rent – This can be a big one.
  11. Salaries & Benefits – Your gym labor costs will be a big expense and include employee wages and all benefits.
  12. Telephone & Internet Expenses – Be sure to include.
  13. Travel Expenses – Some of these might qualify.
  14. Fitness Equipment, Workout Gear, & Facility Improvements – Definitely deductible!
  15. Workout Music, Exercise Videos, A/V Equipment – Absolutely deductible.
  16. Fitness Education – Write off CEU credits for yourself and your team.
  17. Software Expenses – Come on, you know we are going to mention this one, right? Get an annual Exercise.com subscription and deduct it the cost of that gym CRM software!

Bonus: You can write off all payment processing expenses, email marketing expenses, and more. Of course, we make it easy to handle all of the above so you can concentrate on scaling your fitness business, not hassling with infrastructure. See why we offer the best gym management software. You can sell workout plans, or offer fitness challenges, or deliver online training to your community, and so much more.

If you want help from one of our fitness business consultants book a demo and mention “Sweat Equity” to get a free month when you sign up for a year. 

Read More: Gym Owner Guide

What are some common tax deductions available to gym owners?

Common tax deductions for gym owners include fitness equipment and machinery, rent and utilities, employee salaries and benefits, marketing and advertising expenses, professional fees, travel and vehicle expenses, depreciation of assets, and insurance premiums and interest on business loans.

Can gym owners deduct the cost of fitness equipment and machinery?

Yes, gym owners can deduct the cost of fitness equipment and machinery as a business expense. The IRS allows for the deduction of equipment costs through depreciation or Section 179 expensing, depending on the specific circumstances and the total value of the equipment.

How do I claim deductions for rent, utilities, and property expenses for my gym?

Gym owners can claim deductions for rent, utilities, and property expenses related to their gym’s operation. Ensure you maintain accurate records of these expenses, and report them on your tax return under the appropriate categories for business deductions.

Are employee salaries and benefits deductible for gym owners?

Yes, employee salaries, wages, bonuses, and benefits are deductible business expenses for gym owners. However, payments to independent contractors or self-employed individuals, such as some personal trainers, may be treated differently for tax purposes.

Can gym owners deduct marketing and advertising expenses?

Marketing and advertising expenses, such as online ads, print materials, and promotional events, are generally tax-deductible for gym owners. Ensure you maintain proper documentation for these expenses and report them in the appropriate category on your tax return.

Are professional fees, such as those for accountants and attorneys, tax-deductible for gym owners?

Yes, professional fees for services such as accounting, legal advice, and consulting directly related to your gym business are tax-deductible. Be sure to maintain records of these expenses and include them as deductions on your tax return.

What travel and vehicle expenses can gym owners claim as tax deductions?

Travel and vehicle expenses related to your gym business, such as attending conferences, visiting suppliers, or meeting clients, may be tax-deductible. You can choose to use the standard mileage rate or actual expenses method to calculate your deductions. Keep detailed records of your business-related travel and vehicle expenses.

How do I handle deductions for depreciation of gym assets?

Gym assets, such as fitness equipment and machinery, can be depreciated over their useful life as defined by the IRS. You can claim depreciation deductions using the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or other applicable methods. Consult with a tax professional to determine the most appropriate method for your situation.

Can gym owners deduct insurance premiums and interest on business loans?

Insurance premiums related to your gym business, such as general liability and property insurance, are generally tax-deductible. Similarly, interest on business loans used to finance your gym can also be deducted. Ensure you maintain accurate records of these expenses and report them as deductions on your tax return.

What record-keeping practices should gym owners follow to claim tax deductions?

Maintain accurate and organized records of all business-related expenses, including receipts, invoices, and bank statements. Keep a separate business bank account and use accounting software

Bonus: Personal Trainer Tax Deductions

What kind of tax deductions can personal trainers claim? Much the same as the gym owner tax deductions list above. You can deduct marketing, insurance, equipment, travel, fitness equipment, workout music, and all of the above.

In addition, you can deduct your personal trainer certifications fees, your personal training continuing education courses cost, personal trainer conference expenses, workout gear for your personal training sessions, and really anything you use in the normal course of operation as a personal trainer.

In order to maximize tax deductions as a personal trainer be sure to keep accurate records. All of your self-employed personal trainer expenses can likely be deducted if you just keep track of them first! As a fitness trainer, you can expense many items on your tax return so keep accurate records, stay organized, and work with a qualified tax planning professional.

Fitness Meme of the Month

Because… your smiling muscles need exercise too 😆

Dig it? Hate it? Think you can do better? Contact us your favorite fitness meme for a chance to be featured.

Book Recommendation – First: What It Takes to Win

Only the best fitness and business of fitness book recommendations. Send us yours…

First: What It Takes to Win by Rich Froning

Rich is a champ in more ways than one. 



Legendary endurance.

Now taking it to the next level with Mayhem Nation.

And, of course, a CrossFit win record that puts him firmly in GOAT status.

Check it out, and then send us your book recommendations to be featured in a future issue.


Need help growing your fitness business?

We are here for YOU and YOUR business. 

And if you still need to sign up, upgrade, or check out all the new functionality, then just book a demo and mention “Sweat Equity” to get a free month when you sign up for a year. 

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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