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IHRSA's Campaign for a Healthier America Calls on All Americans to Curtail Health Care Costs in 2010 by Becoming Physically Active
Date:12/17/2009

This federal legislation seeks to combat chronic disease and obesity by correcting a tax inequity that currently creates a disincentive for offering certain fitness-based wellness programs. Specifically, the WHIP Act reaffirms an employer’s right to deduct the cost of subsidizing or providing off-site health club benefits to their workers, while reclassifying the benefit as a nontaxable fringe benefit. Current law allows employees to use on-site fitness facilities free of any tax implications, but when a business needs to outsource this health benefit, employees who receive off-site fitness center subsidies are required to pay income tax on the benefits. As a result, employees who work for employers that do not have onsite fitness facilities – typically employees of small businesses – must pay prohibitive taxes for a wellness benefit that their counterparts at other corporations receive tax-free. The current law also discourages off-site fitness benefits by requiring employers to bear the prohibitive administrative costs associated with complying with IRS rules relating to off-site fitness benefits. The WHIP Act eliminates the tax on off-site fitness center subsidies, making it easier for all employers to offer important exercise incentives for their workers.

IHRSA also supports the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Bill (H.R. 2105), which takes a giant step toward a healthier America. The PHIT Act allows for expenditures for physical fitness programs and exercise equipment to be payable out of pre-tax health investment accounts such as flexible spending accounts (FSAs), medical savings accounts (MSAs) and/or medical reimbursement arrangements. The PHIT Act will help provide the level of support many Americans need to be able to adopt healthier lifestyles and become more physically active.

About IHRSA
IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, an
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IHRSA's Campaign for a Healthier America Calls on All Americans to Curtail Health Care Costs in 2010 by Becoming Physically Active 
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