Parliament mulls adult fitness tax credit

By Staff | September 25, 2013 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
2 min read

How much would the federal government have to pay you to get off the couch and into a gym?

The Parliamentary Budget Office has released a cost estimate for creating an adult fitness tax credit.

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It would allow taxpayers “to claim a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 in eligible physical activity programming costs against their taxable income each year at a rate of 15% (i.e. the maximum annual amount to be offset against an individual’s taxes payable would be $75),” the PBO explains. The credit wouldn’t be transferable, so only the person who sweats it out can claim it.

The credit is similar to the children’s fitness tax credit the government introduced in 2007, which cost the government $110 million in 2009.

The PBO looked at three ages of eligibility—55, 60 and 65. If the government introduced the tax credit in 2014, between 5 million and 11 million Canadians would be eligible.

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The average Canadian between 55 and 64 spends $114 a year on fitness programs, while those over 65 spend an average of $76, the PBO estimates.

The proposed credit would cost between $15 and $47 million a year, depending on the age of eligibility. Over five years it would have a cumulative cost of $86 to $286 million.

Estimates don’t include the CRA’s costs for administering the credit. They also don’t tally any increase in tax revenue resulting from more people spending money on the gym or fitness classes.

The PBO did the estimates at the request of a Member of Parliament. There’s no guarantee the government will introduce the measure.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.