The PHIT Act Makes Weight Loss a Tax Deduction

With over two-thirds of Americans considered overweight, people are encouraged to get into shape and lead a healthy lifestyle.  However, they are beginning to realize that getting fit is not only a difficult path, but an expensive path as well.  That is why the government is extending a helping hand.

A pending legislation in the US Congress is the House Resolution 2105, also called the Personal Health Investment Today Act of 2009 (cleverly abbreviated as the PHIT Act), which is intended to allow fitness-related tax deductions for up to $1,000 for individuals, or $2,000 for married couples who are filing jointly as well as heads of households.

But before you sign on that new gym membership, take note that the PHIT Act only covers a certain range of qualified activities such as fitness center membership (except if you own the gym), youth camp fees, personal trainer fees, sports league fees, marathon and triathlon registration fees, and purchase of gym equipment.  Some of the expenses that are not covered by the Act include membership in golf/ hunting/ sailing/ horseback riding clubs, purchase of apparel and footwear not exclusively used for physical activity, as well as travel and accommodation expenses needed to participate in such activities.

The act is sponsored by Representative Ronald Kind (D) of Wisconsin, backed by 15 other members of the House of Representatives from both parties.

If you believe this Act would help you get into shape without having to worry about the expenses, you can petition to your local congressmen to co-sponsor the PHIT Act.