Tax Guide For Fitness Instructors And Personal Trainers

With the country adapting to social distancing measures and more businesses moving online every day, working as a fitness or wellness instructor is becoming increasingly popular. Fitness coaches, teachers and trainers alike are finding ways to start or continue their work online. One-on-one video coaching, recorded sessions, or group classes via Zoom have become a part of everyday life. 

However, if you are just starting out, you may not have realised that if you are a fitness or wellness instructor living and working in Ireland, you are required to file an income tax return each year. Regardless of whether you are working online or in-person, part-time or full-time, you must declare your income to the Revenue Commissioners and pay any tax for which you are liable.   

To help you navigate your way through the system, we have put together some information about the who, what, and when of filing and paying your taxes this year.  

Who needs to file a tax return? 

Whether this is your main job, a side gig, or a hobby, if you are living and earning non-PAYE income as a fitness instructor or wellness teacher in Ireland, you must declare that income to the Revenue Commissioners.    

There is a wide range of occupations that fall into this category, including:  

    – Personal Trainers
    – Yoga Teachers
    – Pilates Instructors 
    – Wellness Coaches
    – Swimming Coaches 
    – Nutritional Advisors 
    – Tennis Instructors 
    – Dance Teachers 

Remember that whether you are holding classes online, in-person, or over the phone, you are still required to file an income tax return! The way you do this depends on whether you are considered a “chargeable person” by the Revenue Commissioners.  

You are considered a chargeable person and must file a Form 11 if, in addition to a PAYE income source, you have earned either: 

  • more than €5,000 tax assessable non-PAYE income, or 
  • more than €30,000 gross non-PAYE income 

If you are not a chargeable person, you are still required to declare any non-PAYE income to the Revenue Commissioners. However, you will not use a Form 11. 

What expenses can a personal trainer claim? 

There are a number of expenses you can claim as a personal trainer or wellness instructor, whether it’s your full-time job or simply a side gig. We always recommend having an expert help you file your taxes to make sure that you claim all the deductions you’re eligible for. Here are some common expenses that fitness instructors can claim against their tax bills.   

Location Costs 

If you rent out a space for your work, you can claim back utilities expenses such as heating, lighting, telephone, and internet expenses.  

Insurance Costs 

If you have paid insurance premiums against fire and public liability, these costs (and any premiums on premises and contents) are eligible for tax relief.   

Phone Bills 

The cost of using your mobile phone to complete your job is tax deductible – as part of our service, we even identify this percentage for you! 

Equipment and Clothing 

If you have had to purchase any materials related to completing your work, such as necessary equipment and specialised work clothes (example: protective clothing), these expenses are tax deductible.  

When should I file my return?  

Your income tax return, alongside your income tax payment and preliminary tax payment for the following year, must be submitted to the Revenue Commissioners by 31st October each year. 

You must meet this deadline, as late filing and payment can result in financial penalties. The Revenue Commissioners charges late fees of up to 10% of your tax liability, depending on how late you file.  

Filing an income tax return is not always easy. If you are new to the system, or if you are working multiple jobs, it does not help. Luckily, Tax Return Plus has over 20 years of experience helping Personal Trainers, Yoga Teachers, Online Fitness Instructors, Swimming Coaches, and many others complete their income tax returns and minimise their tax bills.  

Take the stress out of filing your taxes and get a Quick Quote today 

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NOTE: If you are a full time, salaried employee (PAYE only) and are looking for tax back, you do not need to file a tax return. Head to to claim your rebate.

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