Personal trainer or online coach? Here's what tax means for you...

Generally, as a personal trainer you work under a self-employed agreement. You will pay a monthly rental fee that allows you to access the gym members and use the facilities for your business. You may also do coach clients online or separately from your main gym.

Arjun Kumar
Arjun Kumar
Apr 4, 2023
personal trainer

Running your own business this way means you can deduct business expenses on your Self Assessment.

But... What if I am employed?

It’s often the case where you may also be employed at the same time by a gym. Whether it be chains such as PureGym, The Gym, JD Gyms, Virgin Active, David Lloyd, and Nuffield Health or independent gyms.

If you are just employed and have no self-employment work, you can still claim back certain expenses as long as your employer has not reimbursed you for them, and these are for your work.

Common Expenses

The most common expenses that a personal trainer has include:

  • Rent of a gym or studio;
  • Costs of protein or dietary supplements, but only if you’re selling and not for personal consumption;
  • Merchandise, but only if you’re selling;
  • Purchase or rental of training equipment;
  • Travel costs (including mileage, and food and drink while away), but not to the main gym that you are affiliated with;
  • Insurance costs;
  • Phone and internet bills, but make sure to calculate the percentage you use for work purposes;
  • Work from home expenses (if you use a room in your home for online coaching, expenses may cover a portion of your utility bills).

As a rule of thumb, you can expense anything that is used wholly and exclusively for your business. Drop us a message if you have any questions or doubts.

Filing your Self Assessment

While you process your Self Assessment on Taxd, we’ll ask you specifically about these expenses and help you maximise your tax efficiency, while staying compliant.

Be sure to file by 31 January to avoid any late-filing interest accruing.

Q&A with Vishnu Kiran Nayar (@vknphysique)

What do you do for a living?

Well I am a personal trainer obviously haha!

And I spend a lot of time in the fitness space.

I am an online coach and I help lots of people with their training and diet plans. I also compete myself in men’s physique competitions. On top of that, I am studying for my ACCA qualification to become a chartered certified accountant.

How do you track your earnings and expenses?

At the moment I use a spreadsheet. Nothing fancy!

I thought that since I am studying for my ACCA I really shouldn’t have to use an accountant. Or software haha!

Sometimes I am really on it and sometimes I’m a bit lazy and find myself trying to check a couple of months at a time.

How did you find the Taxd process?

I loved the process. The software was so easy to use and I loved the live tax position update at the top.

It was great to see how each expense had an impact on my tax. I also was so happy that I could file everything directly through Taxd from start to finish as it is always such a pain finding HMRC services login details.

Definitely would say to any personal trainers or content creators to use Taxd. And if they need extra help, they can chat to a member of the Taxd team!

Is there one golden rule you could recommend our users who are on a fitness journey?

Take everything day by day. Don’t be in a rush to see results. And simply enjoy the process!

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