Are swimming lessons tax deductible? Not yet. Hopefully soon. On July 25, 2018 the House of Representatives approved The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. A bill introduced in March of 2018, in hopes of making a more active lifestyle accessible to youth. A correlation between rising costs of activity and declining youth participation numbers inspired the PHIT Act. The states continue to have a high rate of inactivity even though Americans know activity is good for their health. The PHIT incentive will encourage investments in activity to improve health.
PHIT will help families with various activity costs, including pay-to-play in schools, organized team sports, individual activities, camps, clinics, classes, tournaments and qualified equipment. PHIT will also help adults’ activity, as it includes gym memberships, fitness classes, personal trainers, recreational sports/activities and other eligible activity expenses. The PHIT Act allows for the use of pre-tax savings accounts. For example, using health savings account, for physical activity-related expenses. In short, you will be able to claim swimming lessons once the bill becomes law. The PHIT Act is now in the hands of congress.
The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) calculated that the tax break would save families an average of 20 to 30% on fitness costs each year. It’s perhaps for that reason that 78% of families support it, according to a recent survey by the National Recreation and Park Association. The NRPA noted that only 10% of Americans oppose the idea.
Are Swimming Lessons Tax Deductible?
As of November 2018, the bill is still sitting with congress. As of yet, the bill has not been passed by the legislature and thus, has not been enacted into law. The goal was to enact the bill into law before the end of 2018, the goal was unmet. Why? PHIT became victim to the the government shut down, due to these events the bill was not enacted. Ultimately, Congress could not agree on an end-of-year tax bill, which effectively dashed PHIT’s chances to pass, as there was no longer a legislative vehicle that could carry the PHIT Act.
In their most recent press release (December 31, 2018), the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) wrote that deep-rooted support remains for the PHIT Act in Congress. Despite a divided House and Senate beginning in January 2019. The Democratic House and Republican Senate will need to find common ground to move legislation through both chambers. On the bright side, PHIT has always garnered strong bipartisan support. The PHIT Act will be re-introduced in the House and Senate early on in 2019, and SFIA plans to work with its partners to pass PHIT into law.
What does this all mean? Well, this means that currently, swimming lessons in The United States are not tax deductible. Stay up to date on the progress of the PHIT Act.