If you own a business, you may be wondering if you can claim gym memberships when submitting your tax return. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide that answers all of the most frequently asked questions surrounding this common query. 

Gym memberships as a business expense 

In general, gym membership fees are not considered a tax-deductible business expense in the UK unless certain conditions are met. Below is an overview of the rules regarding the deductibility of gym membership fees. 
Sole traders and partnerships: If you operate as a sole trader or within a partnership, the general rule is that personal expenses, including gym membership fees, are not considered allowable business expenses. This is because they are considered to be personal in nature and not directly related to the operation of the business. 
Limited companies: For limited companies, the deductibility of gym membership fees depends on the specific circumstances and purpose of the membership. To be considered a tax-deductible expense, the gym membership must be deemed necessary and directly related to the performance of employment duties or business activities. 
Employee benefit: If you are an employee of your own limited company and the gym membership is provided as an employee benefit or part of a remuneration package, it may be allowable as a tax-deductible expense for the company. However, it may be subject to certain conditions and limitations, such as being available to all employees or being a specific requirement of the job. 
Health and safety requirement: In some cases, if maintaining physical fitness is a legal requirement for the job, such as for certain professions or roles, the gym membership fees might be considered a tax-deductible expense. This typically applies to occupations where physical fitness is directly relevant to the job, such as professional athletes or certain emergency service personnel. 
Additional considerations: It's important to note that any claims for tax deductions, including gym membership fees, should be supported by proper records and evidence, such as invoices or receipts, clearly demonstrating the business purpose and necessity. To ensure compliance with the specific rules and regulations and to determine the deductibility of gym membership fees in your particular situation, get in touch with the accountants and tax consultants here at TreyBridge. 

Should my business offer gym membership as an employee perk? 

Offering gym membership as an employee perk can provide several benefits for team members and their employer. Here are some potential advantages: 
Promotes health and wellbeing: Access to a gym encourages employees to engage in regular physical activity, promoting their overall health and mindset. Regular exercise has numerous physical and mental health benefits, such as increased energy levels, reduced stress, improved mood and enhanced productivity. 
Increased employee engagement and satisfaction: Providing a gym membership demonstrates that the employer values employee wellbeing and is invested in their health. This can lead to higher employee satisfaction, increased engagement and improved morale. Employees may feel more motivated and loyal to the company, resulting in higher retention rates. 
Reduced absenteeism: Regular exercise can contribute to improved physical fitness, which can lead to fewer health issues and lower levels of absenteeism. Employees who engage in regular physical activity are generally healthier, have better immune systems, and may experience fewer sick days. 
Stress reduction: Physical exercise is known to reduce stress levels and improve mental health. Offering a gym membership as an employee perk provides staff with an opportunity to relieve anxiety, clear their minds, and improve their overall mental wellbeing. This, in turn, can positively impact their performance and job satisfaction. 
Enhanced team building and company culture: A shared gym membership can encourage employees to engage in physical activities together, fostering team building and a sense of camaraderie. Employees who exercise together may bond, strengthen relationships, and develop a positive company culture centred around health and wellness. 
Attraction and retention of talent: A gym membership perk can be an attractive feature when recruiting new talent. It showcases the company's commitment to employee wellbeing and may differentiate the organisation from its competitors. Additionally, it can contribute to employee retention by providing a desirable benefit that adds value to the overall compensation package. 
Positive brand image: Offering gym membership as an employee perk can help create a positive brand image for the company. It sends a message to potential clients, customers and partners that the organisation values its employees' health and promotes a healthy lifestyle. 

Tax planning services for business owners 

For dedicated tax planning, consultancy and management services, call our Northern office on 01482 235575, our London office on 0207 885 0605, or fill in the contact form below. 
Tagged as: Tax & Expenses
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