Healthy Industry Pushes For Gym Memberships To Be Tax Deductible

Gym memberships being tax deductible has been floated as a way to improve the health of Australians.

A proposal from AUSactive, Australia’s exercise and active health body, has been submitted to the treasurer, ahead of the budget being handed down for 2024/25.

It proposes gym memberships should be an exemption under the Fringe Benefits Tax legislation.

The body is proposing for "all employees to be able to claim bona fide active health participation such as gym memberships and fitness activities such as pilates, yoga and Tai Chi as a tax deduction".

AUSactive CEO Barrie Elvish said exercising in gyms, pilates studios and leisure centres is categorised as “entertainment”, reported 9News.

"Comparing bending an elbow in a pub to bending an elbow with a barbell in a gym is ludicrous," Elvish said.

"It's absurd and ironic that a taxpayer can claim a deduction for donations to health-related not-for-profit organisations but not to proactively improve their own health."