Taxes is a painful word for most personal trainers. Some of your clients may feel similar apprehension when they hear the word ‘exercise’.
Having a plan, being organized, keeping records and getting help are how you reduce pain and stress about finances, tax filing and exercise too. Here’s some valuable advice to help with your tax pains.
Planning for Taxes: Get Organized
You could probably agree that having a game plan is what keeps most people calm and collected when it comes to stressful topics.
Record keeping is the most basic form of being organized. It helps you get a handle on your finances and see the big picture, so that you can strategize. The best way to start is to keep track of your income and expenses. Do this by putting all receipts in a folder or recording them in a spreadsheet on a computer. You can also use an app, there are many out there for keeping track.
At some point in the past keeping a food journal or tracking workout progress was a new skill for you. Recording finances is similar. Before you know it, getting organized for taxes will become second nature as well.
Read Tax Planning for Personal Trainers: Getting Organized to learn more.
Personal Trainer Tax Write-Offs: Keep More Money
After you get a handle on the basics of organization and planning, then the FUN begins! Yes, fun. Saving money.
You can keep more of what you earn with tax write-offs, otherwise known as deductions. As a business owner you get to subtract certain expenses from your total income. This lowers the amount of money being taxed. It’s a perk that business owners get but not employees. See, it isn’t so bad paying your own taxes after all!
You do have to save receipts related to business expenses and report your income to the government minus what you spent on your business for this to happen, which goes back to being organized and keeping records.
You really can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars (depending on your income and expenses) as a business owner if you play the game right.
Read Tax Write-Offs for Personal Trainers to learn more.
Frequent Questions About Personal Trainer Taxes
How Do I Know If I Need to File My Own Taxes?
- If you are not an employee and are an independent contractor or business owner you need to file your own taxes.
- If you are collecting money directly from clients and then paying rent to a gym, you have to file your own taxes.
- If you rent a studio space of your own and train clients there, you need to file your own taxes and this situation might be more complicated, so consider hiring an accountant for extra tax advice.
What Are Estimated Tax Payments?
- Whether you like it or not a percentage of your income belongs to the government. Employees have this money deducted automatically for them.
- If you’re a business owner and earning your living by personal training, then the IRS requires you to make estimated tax payments throughout the year, also known as quarterlies.
- You wouldn’t try to do a whole week of cardio all on Sunday would you? No, you spread it out and do a little each day. That’s what estimated payments are all about. Spreading out the work. Plus, paying as you go prevents you from the illusion of spending money that really isn’t yours.
- Read Tax Planning for Personal Trainers: Estimated Payments to learn more.
Can You Claim Mileage?
- You can if you have a home office set up where you live or if you’re commuting from your place of work to a clients home. Having a home office is a requirement to write-off gas mileage or car expenses.
- You have to be driving from one place of business to another for this perk. Making an office in the corner of a room in your home is the most basic way to make this happen.
- Read Tracking Mileage for Personal Trainer Tax Deductions to learn more.
What About Deducting Music and Clothing?
- If you’re using your music for business owner related tasks only it’s probably an approved write-off. If you use the music to teach for an employee based fitness class at a big box gym it DOES NOT qualify.
- Clothing is more of a gray area. It usually has to have your logo or business name on it and definitely needs to be used ONLY for business. Check with your accountant and area laws to double check.
Can You Deduct Certification and CEC Costs?
- Yes you can. Keep the receipts for record keeping and to prove your spending.
Taxes are no fun until they help you save money! The more you know about exercise the better you perform. The more you know about nutrition the healthier you eat. The more you know about money the more of it you can keep. Let’s tackle taxes – together.