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Can I Claim My Gym Membership as a Business Expense?

Would you like to claim your gym membership as a business expense? Then this guide is for you. As a general rule, self-employed individuals can claim expenses that are wholly and exclusively for the purposes of trade.

Many of the things you buy in your business will be tax allowable. This is because if you weren’t in business, you wouldn’t be buying them. For example, as a virtual assistant who helps you or your insurance policy. But some things, like a gym membership, often benefit us inside and outside of work so it isn’t wholly and exclusively for the purposes of trade.

Expenses that have a business and personal benefit are deemed by HMRC to have a duality of purpose. Therefore, in these cases, it is unlikely that they would be an allowable business expense when you fill in your tax return.

Where a clear portion of an expense can be proved as relating to business, like a laptop, then an apportionment of the expense can be made and an amount claimed as an allowable business expense. However, you may be hard-pushed to convince the tax man about a clear apportionment of your gym membership.

When it comes to claiming gym membership as a business expense different rules may apply to certain trades like actors or models.

Read this guide to Self Employed Expenses to find out more about what you can claim on your tax return and get a list of allowable and disallowable expenses to keep for tax time.

Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.