“Taxes” is probably one of the most cringeworthy words out there. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a personal trainer or a client, knowing what you can and cannot claim on your taxes can be tricky. Thankfully, there are ways to streamline the process.
Being organized and keeping accurate records are two of the best ways to alleviate the stress of filing taxes. Below is a list of tips to help you make doing your taxes a little less painful. For the rest of your fitness business management needs, request a demo for our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software today.
Planning for Taxes
Keeping accurate records is the easiest way to stay organized. It helps you see the big picture and take control of your finances. Put your receipts in a folder and create a spreadsheet on your computer. There are also apps you can download to help you keep of your expenses, which works wonders when it comes time to file your taxes.
If You Are a Personal Trainer
After you have a handle on the basics of organization, you can then start looking for tax write-offs. As a business owner, you’re able to keep more of what you earn. Also known as a deduction, knowing what to claim helps lower the amount of money being is taxed.
Getting to write off your deductibles is one of the advantages of being an independent personal trainer. If you’re an employee, you will not be able to claim as many deductions.
If You Are a Client
As a client, you may be able to write off your training sessions if they are medically necessary. To claim them as medical care expenses, they used must be primarily to prevent or alleviate a physical defect. If your training sessions are for treatment of a medical condition like hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes, you may claim this on your taxes.
In addition to what you pay your trainer, you can claim your gym’s membership fees. You can also claim any food products your doctor deems necessary for your health.
You cannot claim the cost of diet food and beverages simply because you want them. The food must also satisfy normal nutritional needs and alleviate or treat an illness, which must be substantiated by your physician. On the other hand, if you’re working out with a trainer because you want to get in shape, you cannot claim this as a deduction.
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Standard Deductions for Personal Trainers
When you decide to become a personal trainer, you have the option of working for someone else or owning your own company. Many personal trainers start out working for their local gym where they can learn the ropes and build their client base.
After they’ve built a solid reputation, most trainers will start working for themselves. As an independent personal trainer, there are many different types of deductions you can claim.
Marketing and Advertising Costs
If you are a freelance personal trainer and travel to your client’s homes, your automobile expense could be one of your biggest write-offs. For example, you can claim regular automobile maintenance, gas, and mileage. You can also claim your car if you work in a gym as a freelancer.
If you are employed by the gym, health and wellness center, or another type of facility, it’s a good idea to verify with the IRS what you can and cannot claim.
As a self-employed individual, you can claim your home office as a deduction. This space must only be used for business purposes. In addition, your office doesn’t need to be an entire room. It can be a corner where you store your workout equipment or a desk where you write your exercise plans.
Anything that you buy to further your knowledge qualifies as a deduction. You can claim continuing education courses, seminars, books, and fitness conventions. Furthermore, if you pay to attend a mastermind course, you can probably write this off as well.
If you are self-employed, you can claim 100 percent of your health insurance premiums. If you have a Health Savings Account, you can also deduct almost all of your medical expenses as well. Any money you deposit into your HSA is deductible from your income.
Wrapping Things Up
In the fitness industry, some trainers can barely make ends meet while others are very successful. But regardless of how much a personal trainer makes, there is always room for growth. Making conscious financial decisions builds financial awareness. Combined with accurate record-keeping, this will help you maximize your deductions when tax season rolls around.
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