With Tax Deadlines just around the corner, students at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health are asking, “If I open my own practice, what can I deduct as a legal business expense?” In response we quote information posted at the IRS at www.irs.gov, that identifies two criteria which deem expenses valid; they must be ‘ordinary’ and ‘necessary’.
An ‘ordinary’ business expense is defined as one commonly accepted in your trade. A ‘necessary’ expense is considered any expense helpful and appropriate for your trade. The IRS adds, “an expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary”. So, while legitimate expenses may vary from profession to profession, a valid business expense for Massage Therapists is basically anything one spends money on to run your practice.
Healing Hands Instructors suggest that students keep track of any expenses they incur after beginning a business that they had not incurred previously. A few specific expenses include:
Supplies – face cradle covers, sheets, blankets, hand and face towels, holsters, massage oils, lotions, gels, boxed tissues, hand sanitizer, aromatherapies, candles, hot stones, complementary holistic products, cleaning supplies/sanitizers
Equipment – massage tables, table-warmers, table-covers, massage chairs, floor mast (Shiatsu / Thai massage), massage room fans, fresh water dispenser, CD player, CD’s and Theracane (MT self-care)
Accessories – body bolsters, breast pillows, pregnancy wedges, arm supports, side-tables and chairs
Laundry expenses– laundry service fees (for sheets), detergent, bleach, dryer sheets, washer/dryer for towels, blankets used for massage are all deductible expenses
Utilities – Some utilities like cellphones and electricity are often used for both personal and professional use. Massage Therapists are urged to estimate the percentage of time an item is used for business, versus personal use use that sum to calculate percentage of cost, which you’ll use as a valid business expense.
Car Expenses – The IRS allows you to deduct auto expenses based on either actual car expenses or a standard mileage rate, currently at 53.5 cents per mile. Be warned, however, that you can’t buy a car and deduct the purchase cost unless you take aggressive steps to make it an asset of your company. Even as such, you’ll still need to keep track of your business versus personal use expenses. Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners can search google for smart phone applications designed for this purpose specifically. One such app is as MileIQ.
Since 1992, Healing Hands School’s top-notch Faculty have prepared more than 7,000 students for successful careers as Massage Therapists and are eager to do the same for YOU! To learn more, visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (760) 746-9364/ Escondido or (949) 305-2722 /Laguna Hills.
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health
“Touching Lives – Touching Hearts”