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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29575
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Business deductions...I am a member at a gym, on the website

Customer Question

Customer: business deductions...I am a member at a gym, on the website they have a "friends of the gym" section, where you can put a little blurb about your business and a link to your web can only get on this page if you are a member of the gym...can I write that off at all for my business?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: like what? I pay a monthly fee to be a member, as a benefit of being a member I can advertise on their website... can this be a deduction or a percentage of it?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.

To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.


So the first question the IRS agent would ask if you deduct gym membership fees - is that business expense expense ordinary (common and accepted in your trade or business) AND necessary (helpful and appropriate for your trade or business).

I assume the answer will be negative...

IRS specifically list among Expenses You Cannot Deduct - see page 39

-- Dues to business, social, athletic, luncheon, sporting, airline, and hotel clubs.

To be precised - these fees might be deductible - but that is based on the type of your trade or business - for instance if you are a professional athlete - such fees might be viewed as both ordinary and necessary.

However - for most types of business - that is personal nondeductible expense.

Sorry if you expected differently.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the advertising benefit would hold no value? even a % of the monthly fee?
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.

"hold no value" is not a reason for deduction.

If you dressed very nice and wearing expensive clothes - that would also "hold no value" for your business and may attract clients...

The law specifically disallow deducting personal expenses.

The ground to deduct BUSINESS expenses expense must be both ordinary and necessary.

Long history with IRS resulted that gym membership is NOT classified as deductible business expense even it might help you to gain more business.

But any additional expenses you may have to advertise your business your web page - that would be your advertisement expenses.

I understand you might expect a different answer - but reality is just like that...

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