What is the "job of the future?" Find out in the next edition of Axios AM.


Proposed bill gives tax break for gym classes, with big exception

Photo by Shyam Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Gym memberships and fitness class fees could become tax deductible under a new bill proposed by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO).

But, but, but: The benefits would not extend to those who exercise via paid smartphone apps or streaming services.

Details: The Personal Health Investment Today Act would let individual taxpayers claim up to $500 annually for memberships and classes — a type of deduction that today is only available to those exercising at a doctor's instruction due to a diagnosed condition. It also includes up to $250 in deductions for "personal safety equipment."

  • The goal is to encourage preventative health.
  • It says that "golf, hunting and horseback riding shall not be treated as a physical exercise or physical activity.

A spokesman for Rep. Smith says that the bill would not cover subscription streaming services like those offered by Peloton, which sells at-home stationary bikes with connected monitors that offer both live and on-demand cycling classes. Those apparently fall into an exclusion for "exercise videos" and "books."

John Foley, Peloton's founder and CEO, tells Axios via email:

"We're hoping we'll be included. Scratch that. We're not just hoping. We're looking to lobby to ensure we're included. Feels we should be obviously. I think we fall squarely into 'participation or instruction in a program of physical exercise.'"