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Sports & Fitness Association urges passage of PHIT Act in lame-duck session

Published November 29, 2018
The PHIT Act would allow consumers to deduct some fitness-related costs on their federal income taxes.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Sports & Fitness Industry Association is urging the Senate to pass the Personal Health Investment Today Act during its lame-duck session this fall. The PHIT Act passed the House in July.

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The act would allow Americans who use a pretax medical expense account to use that account to pay for some fitness-related expenses, including some equipment, activity fees and facility membership costs. 

"Delaying action on this bill is not an option," the SFIA said in a news release this week. "When the new Congress is seated in January 2019, there will be new leadership in the House and new priorities. Passing the PHIT Act in 2018 is the best option, and due to its solid bipartisanship, it is in a strong position. While the bill already has bipartisan support from 16 Senators, the others will be targeted via social media and emails to urge support for PHIT."

The House bill that passed would allow individuals to deduct up to $1,000 in expenses from membership in a fitness facility, participation or instruction in a physical exercise program, or for equipment used in a program of physical exercise or physical activity. Private clubs, golf, hunting, sailing or horseback riding facilities do not qualify as facilities. Apparel and footwear do not qualify as sports equipment and sports equipment deductions are limited to $250 per item. 

The current Senate bill is very similar, except that it allows deductions for footwear and apparel as long as it "is of a type that is necessary for, and is not used for any purpose other than, a specific physical activity," and does not exceed $250 per item. 

"The urgency behind people in our industry taking action on this bill is at its most critical point," stated SFIA's president and CEO, Tom Cove. "We must pass the PHIT Act in the next two weeks."

 

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