If you're a yoga teacher, you know the many benefits of teaching yoga, right?
And if you're a children's yoga teacher, well then, bet you love those smiling faces when the kiddos leave your class. It's also pretty awesome to run your own kids yoga company, do something you love, and help both kids and their parents achieve a little bit of peace.
But you probably also know that teaching kids yoga isn't always fun and games. Indeed, you can't ignore the fact that you are likely paid as an independent contractor and have to deal with filing your taxes. I've been there done that - every year for the past 20 years. It's no fun.
Yet, with 2018 taxes in the rear-view mirror, it's time to get a leg up on organizing your taxes for 2019. Yes, we know: Perhaps you just filed your 2018 taxes, or you received a refund and just want to enjoy the extra cash for a bit.
Yet, the sooner you get your tax situation in order, the better off you'll be when the end of the year rolls around. Besides, tax deductions can lower the amount you owe Uncle Sam or perhaps net you an even bigger refund next time around. Either way: This can mean more money in the bank for you.
So, stop procrastinating and take a look at our top 10 tax deductions for yoga teachers.
1. Home office
If this marked your first year teaching yoga and using a home office to handle your administrative tasks, you may not realize that you can deduct home office expenses even though you don’t have a separate “office” in your residence. Although a dedicated office is ideal, this may not be an option if you live in an apartment with roommates or live in your parents basement (hopefully not!) Luckily for you, you can allocate a corner of your dining room or even your bedroom as your work space. According to the IRS, you can deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage for the room or space that is used exclusively for business purposes. For example, the square footage of my home office equates to about one-eighth of the total square footage of my house. This means that I can deduct about 12 percent of my mortgage payments.
2. Home office supplies, equipment and furnishings
Talking about a home office, you can also deduct expenses related to the purchase of home office supplies and computer equipment. This includes office furniture like a new stand/sit desk. I spent about $700 on my stand/sit electronic desk three years ago and it was money well-spent. My back fatigue is now gone, plus I got to write it off as an office furnishings expense. Besides a new desk, other big ticket office items may include an ergonomic chair, a printer, or a new laptop. And, don’t forget about smaller everyday office supplies like printer paper, notebooks, paper clips or anything else you need to run your business. These are all typically deductible too.
3. Utilities, wireless and other related services
Just like you can deduct a percentage of your mortgage or rent as home office space, you can usually do the same thing for utilities and other household bills. For example, you can typically deduct the portion of your electricity, gas, cable, wireless and cell phone bill used to conduct business. Just make sure you keep accurate records and remember: Your personal household bills are not deductible.
This is an expense that is often overlooked, especially if you’re a newly minted yoga teacher. Yet, fitness liability insurance is crucial! And because we know how important it is to be insured, we offer a special discount for you to get covered right by our partner BeYogi.
5. Automobile expenses
Do you drive your car to all of your classes? The life of a roving yoga instructor can certainly put a lot of wear and tear on your car (and you!) but it's a necessary evil. The good news: As a yoga teacher, you can deduct the standard mileage rate, according to the IRS.
6. Travel costs
If you are planning to travel to yoga events, teacher training, festivals, and conferences to enhance your education, you can usually deduct related hotel bills, airline travel, or other associated expenses.
7. Education Expenses
Do you plan on taking a yoga teacher training course in 2019? Do you want to enroll in online courses to further your yoga education, such as the Pretzel Kids Yoga Certification Course? Well, you may be able to deduct the amount you spend as these are educational expenses to further your career.
8. Supplies related to your business
If you buy exercise equipment for your classes - like a balance ball, yoga mats and props for your Pretzel Kids classes - that's usually deductible. In my situation, I deduct the cost of yoga props and other fitness equipment that I use for my classes.
Do you intend to purchase marketing materials for your Pretzel Kids yoga business, including brochures, flyers, mailers or business cards? If so, these are typically tax deductible. In addition, you can usually write off costs for online advertising through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. And, don’t forget about paid email marketing using Constant Contact or other similar channels.
10. Professional service fees
Are you planning to hire a web designer, social media expert, business coach, or even an accountant to handle your bookkeeping? If so, you can usually deduct these professional fees. You can also typically deduct fees for other professional services, like the Pretzel Kids "Start a Business" membership and licensing program (this can also sometimes be categorized as a subscription or dues - also usually tax deductible).
Regardless of which deductions seem appropriate for you, it’s a good idea to seek advice from an accountant or financial advisor. And, keep this in mind: The cost to hire a tax expert may be tax-deductible. A win-win.