It’s the start of a new year, and after we have all invariably overindulged in all the fine food and drink over the festive period, the guilt kicks in and we look to the gym to work off some of those calories.
Or maybe you are just ready to work towards your health goals and want to kick 2023 off as a healthier version of yourself…
The question many ask is:
Can you claim your gym membership as a business expense through your company?
Unfortunately, the short answer is no. HMRC considers a gym membership to be a personal expense rather than a business expense.
Are there any exceptions?
There are very few exceptions where the gym is seen as being necessary to your business, and this is if you work in a field that requires you to be in shape. In these cases, it can be seen as a reasonable business expense. These are occupations such as actors, models, personal trainers, ballet dancers, fitness instructors, and athletes.
Unless your occupation or business is one of these, a gym membership cannot be treated as a business expense.
What will happen if I pay for it through my business account?
If you pay for your gym membership through your business, then it will be classed as a “benefit in kind” and be taxable on your P11D. If your earnings and dividends are higher, then it would be more cost-effective for the cost to go to your directors’ loan account, where it would be included with your dividends.
Are there any other options available?
There is one small option: if your monthly membership fee is less than £50, you could classify your gym membership as a trivial benefit. But remember, this is capped at a total value of £300 a year. For more on trivial benefits, see our previous blog: Are gifts for employees tax deductible?