Myth: I Can Deduct All Membership Fees

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That's right. You cannot deduct most membership fees even if you feel they're legitimate business expenses.

what can i deduct on my taxes |

The IRS states "you can’t deduct amounts paid or incurred for membership in any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or any other social purpose." - IRS Publication 535 Business Expenses

What membership fees can I deduct?

You can deduct the fees for the following business clubs if it's an ordinary and necessary expense for your industry:
  • Chamber of commerce
  • Trade association or boards of trade
  • Business league
  • Public service organizations (e.g., Rotary, Kiwanis)
  • Civic organizations
  • Professional organization (e.g., bar, medical, accounting)
  • Real estate board
TIP: You cannot claim any portion of the yearly fee that includes lobbying or political activities as a deduction on your tax return.

What membership fees are not deductible?

You can't deduct the cost of being a member of the following clubs:
  • Country club
  • Airline (lounge) club
  • Fitness or health club
  • Golf club
  • Hotel club
  • Luncheon club
  • Business club (except those allowed above)
  • Entertainment facility or activity
TIP: You can still purchase any membership, but you can't deduct it on your tax return.

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your accountant, attorney and financial advisor before implementing any tips displayed on this website. DIY research does not replace the advice of a licensed professional who has thoroughly reviewed your file.