Bachelorette’s Peter Kraus = Tax Deduction?

How to deduct weight loss programs

Summer 2017’s season of the Bachelorette was dedicated to Rachel Lindsey. However, if you lived in Madison, WI the season was dedicated to the hometown favorite, Peter Kraus.

While Peter did not end with the final rose, he did position himself as very likable and great candidate for the next Bachelor.

For what it’s worth, my wife used to work with Peter, and he is as likable as he portrayed on the show.

As the owner of WORTH Personal Training this new-found popularity should be great for his business.

Fortunately, his business is great for you too.

Not only is the healthy lifestyle that Peter promotes great… you might even receive a tax deduction when working with him!

How to deduct personal training

According to IRS Publication 502, Weight-Loss Program is a deductible medical expense. Here are the details:

You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to lose weight if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease). This includes fees you pay for membership in a weight reduction group as well as fees for attendance at periodic meetings.

Woo hoo! You could hang out with Peter AND deduct it on your taxes!

When you can’t deduct personal training

The key words to notice in the last section is that expenses are eligible if for “treatment of a specific disease diagnosed by a physician.”

If you’re looking at weight loss for the purpose of improvement of appearance, general health, or sense of well-being then you can’t deduct it.

To deduct personal training, you must be prescribed personal training by your physician.

Even if you can’t deduct your personal training, the investment is still a great one. Living a healthy lifestyle is one part of a smart financial plan. In fact, health care costs for couples are estimated at $260,000 in retirement according to a Fidelity study. Yikes!

If you are prescribed personal training with Peter then you will need to keep in mind the Medical Expense deduction threshold. To actually receive a tax benefit from medical expenses your total medical expenses need to exceed 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income.

This rule shouldn’t stop you from seeking a prescription or signing up for boot camp, but it is something to be mindful of when weighing the cost/benefits.

But wait… there’s more!

A bill in Congress called the PHIT Act is designed to use the tax code to incentive fitness.

If the PHIT Act is passed it would allow Americans to use Pre-Tax Medical Account to pay for physical activity expenses.

This is similar to how a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account is setup to allow you to pay for qualified medical expenses. Neither of those accounts allow you to use the funds to pay for personal training or other fitness activities… unless you’re prescribed fitness by your physician.

If you think this sounds awesome you can help pass the PHIT Act by clicking here.

Whether or not your doctor prescribes you Peter, or the PHIT Act passes, getting fit and staying fit are important pieces of a solid financial plan.


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Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. I encourage you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Nate Byers a Madison, WI CPA Financial Advisor,  and all rights are reserved. Read the full Disclaimer in the footer below.