If you are a barre instructor, are considering becoming a barre instructor – you are likely going to be an independent contractor.
And for many barre instructors, this is the first time that they have been considered and independent contractor and “self employed” for tax purposes.
As an independent contractor, you do not typically have an employer paying you benefits or social security – but you also have the ability to deduct a lot of things from your “gross income” that you would have been paying any way.
Here are 7 common tax deductions that may be missed by a new (or established) barre instructor that can significantly reduce your taxes.
1. Uniforms – Do you have a “Uniform” – something that you wear to teach your barre classes day in and day out? If you have a set type of apparel that you are supposed to wear to teach your barre classes, those can be considered uniforms, and are fully deductible.
2. Membership Dues – Do you have a favorite fitness place, business organization, or networking group (or a few) that you love to participate in that costs you money? You may be able to take the membership dues as a deduction.
3. Conferences, travel expenses, and more! This one is my FAVORITE tip!!! If you travel, do you still go and take fitness classes to see what’s happening in other parts of the world in the fitness business? And have you ever noticed that most fitness conferences are in luxury beach towns? This is a GREAT opportunity to go mix some business with pleasure, visit places you may not have been able to afford otherwise, and deduct it from your taxes!!!
4. Health Insurance and Medical Costs – As a self employed person, you can likely deduct your health insurance premiums, and set up a flexible spending account or a health savings account to allocate pre-tax dollars to your medical, dental, and vision bills.
5. Phone and Phone Bills – If you’re like me, my phone is my everything. I use it to download and stream music that I use in my class. I use it to take photos and videos of my class. I use it to talk to staff, clients, etc. It is actually one of my key tools in running my business. You can likely deduct both the cost of the phone, and a large part of the plans. (For example – are you using spotify in class? If so, then your spottily membership and part of your data plan are valid business expenses).
6. Auto Expenses – Since I work from home much of the time, I don’t drive a lot of places over the course of my day. But when I do, I am often including a trip to the studio – making the miles and a portion of the cost of my automobile deductible.
7. Dining and entertainment with business associates. Do you find that you spend a lot of time with the people you work with? Co-workers, clients, other fitness professionals? The dining and entertainment for much of those activities are often considered business deductions!
If you have always been an employee, it often feels weird and uncomfortable being an independent contractor. And although there are some costs, I do genuinely believe that in the long run, I have a lower tax obligation as an independent contractor than I do as an employee. You just have to track your income, track your expenses, and be able to prove the business purposes of the deduction.
Hopefully, as a barre instructor, this tip will help you save a few dollars this year on your taxes!