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Pump up employee morale: Turn unused space into athletic facility

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in Small Business Tax

Some business owners that have downsized have plenty of open office or warehouse space. But they still have to pay the rent or maintenance if they own the building.

Turn unused space into an athletic facility. This can be a prized tax-free benefit for the “keepers” still with the company.

If your business pays an employee’s membership fees to an outside athletic facility (like a health club), the payments are taxable as compensation. But the benefit of using an on-site facility is exempt from tax. So the deal is even sweeter for employees.

To qualify for this tax break, the following requirements must be met:

  • The athletic facility is located on the premises owned or leased by the employer.
  • The employer operates the facility through its own employees or by contract.
  • Substantially all facility use during the calendar year is by employees, their spouses and their children.

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