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Entries in IHRSA Tax Weekend Challenge (2)

Tuesday
Apr192016

IHRSA Tax Weekend Challenge Produces 750 Messages to Congress

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Congratulations, the IHRSA Tax Weekend Challenge in support of the PHIT Act and the WHIP Act generated just over 750 messages to Congressional leaders and Senators across the country! The PHIT Act would allow Americans to use pre-tax accounts like Flexible Savings Accounts and Health Savings Accounts to pay for gym membership and other fitness costs, such as youth sports leagues. The WHIP Act would prevent Americans who have access to employer subsidized gym membership from being taxed on the value.

We are so proud of our members and friends for speaking with one voice about the benefits of exercise, and why changing the tax code to incentivize fitness will improve the quality of life, pocketbook, and medical outcome for Americans.

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If you didn’t have the chance to send your message this weekend, please take a moment to send one now.

Thank you for participating in IHRSA’s federal advocacy efforts. If you would like to learn about further grassroots involvement, please contact IHRSA Public Policy Assistant Suzanne Trainor at smt@ihrsa.org.

Thursday
Apr142016

Kicking Off the IHRSA Tax Weekend Challenge: Support Tax Incentives for Fitness

(Click to enlarge)The federal tax deadline in April isn’t exactly the celebration we all look forward to each year. But what if the federal tax code was altered to encourage working out at an IHRSA fitness facility? 

IHRSA is launching the IHRSA Tax Weekend Challenge to support two pieces of legislation pending in the 114th Congress that would use the tax code as a vehicle to increase physical fitness: the PHIT Act, or Personal Health Investment Today Act (H.R. 1218) and the WHIP Act, or Workforce Health Improvement Program Act (S. 2296). 

The PHIT Act would allow Americans to use flexible savings accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) to pay for health club memberships and other fitness expenses. Individuals would be able to budget pre-tax up to $1,000 per year towards gym membership; families could tap up to $2,000 per year. Under existing Internal Revenue Service code, FSAs and HSAs can only be used to pay for medical expenses, e.g. prescriptions and doctor visits.

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The WHIP Act would prevent employees who are offered employer sponsored health club membership from paying a tax on the benefit. Current tax law imposes the income tax on the value of the membership, unless the fitness center is located on-site of the employer. 

Participating in the challenge today—visit the IHRSA Action Center to send a message to your representative and senators in Washington D.C., asking them to support PHIT and WHIP as important tax incentives to get Americans moving again.

Physical inactivity is the cause of one in 10 deaths worldwide, while increased levels of physical activity can help to prevent cancer and chronic debilitating diseasesWith in one in two men and one in three women expected to be diagnosed with a form of cancer in their lifetime, and cancer costs estimated at $216 billion per year to the U.S. economy, increasing access to fitness as a preventative health measure should be a priority for Congress.

Visit the IHRSA Action Center to advocate in favor of the PHIT Act and the WHIP Act during the IHRSA Tax Weekend Challenge, April 14 through April 19.

Thank you for standing up for fitness!