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Gym Membership via Salary Sacrifice?

Gym Membership via Salary Sacrifice

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I am interested in finding out if we can boost our existing salary sacrifice benefits. We currently offer childcare vouchers and cycle to work but would like to add gym membership.

Is this allowed under HMRC regs, and does anyone run a scheme such as this already?

Thanks

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By DeborahM
02nd Jul 2009 17:21

Hi Kansel
I have not come across any case of salary sacrifice being used for Gym membership but have come across many other options that are about employee health, purchasing bicycles, support to stop smoking even, cannot see any reason why gym membership is not a valid one. As long as the agreement is voluntary and the necessary legal paperwork is done should be OK.
Best thing to do is to contact the HMRC helpline and check so that you are sure of the advice you are giving.
Deborah

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By cgayther
07th Jul 2009 11:13

I am not a tax expert but I think the difference between gym membership as a benefit and cc vouchers or cycle to work is the latter are agreed tax exempt schemes, whereas (as far as I know) gym membership is not. As long as you follow HMRC guidance, I am reasonably sure you could allow employees to salary sacrifice to pay for their membership but unless there is a scheme I am not aware of, the benefit would still be taxable, to be declared on the P11D.

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By robwoollen
09th Jul 2009 10:35

As far as I am aware (and the big caveat is that all my clients have their own accountants so I do not really delve into this), you are allowed to offer sports facilities as deductible expenses as long as they are available to all employees equally. However they do have to be "special facilities", and not available to the public. You could well argue (but check!) that if you have a special corporate rate with the gyms then it is not available to the public and is therefore deductible.

The following is from IR guide 480

Sports facilities
Section 261 Sports facilities generally available to the employer’s employees and members of their families
and households. This does not apply to facilities:
• available to the general public
• consisting of or provided in association with overnight or holiday accommodation
• provided on domestic premises, or
• consisting of mechanically propelled vehicles or vessels such as cars,
motor-boats and aeroplanes.

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By arb82
21st Sep 2009 19:27

Gym memberships can be allowed under certain circumstances. I have recently implemented a similar scheme as part of a package.

You can email me at [email protected] for more information.

A Brown

 

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By Glenn Rankin
20th May 2010 14:49

We run a national scheme with over 1,500 health clubs that permits employees to select health club membership through flexible or salary sacrifice schemes. Apologies for the blatant plug but more information can be found here www.gymflex.co.uk

HMRC are happy for the scheme to run through salary sacrifice, though we always advise clients to obtain their own tax advice.

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