No one likes tax season (except maybe accountants, that is). All that number crunching, nail-biting, sorting through important documents and trying to make sure you put the right number in the right box.
There’s probably a million and one other things we’d all rather do than file our taxes, but this annual activity doesn’t have to be completely devoid of joy!
To help make your tax season a little easier, we’ve put together a few tips that every fitness professional or business owner should know come time to pay the tax man.
Know Your Deductions
We often think of taxes as a cut and dry formula. You make a certain amount of money, you get put into a specific tax bracket, and you pay out the designated amount no questions asked.
But really, many governments have set up their tax systems to reward those who work hard (and we all know fitness professionals are some of the hardest working people out there). They do this by offering deductions you can use to reduce the amount of tax you pay (or in accountant-speak, your tax liability).
As a fitness professional, depending on where you live and what kind of services you provide, you could claim all kinds of deductions! Like your business start-up, marketing, advertising, or even banking costs.
If you go to clients’ homes or offices to conduct training you might be able to deduct travel and transportation expenses. If you need a gym membership to work with clients, that might also be deductible. And if you run a brick and mortar studio or club, you might also be able to deduct a portion of your equipment costs.
Plus, as an online trainer who likely does some work from home, you might also be eligible for deductions on the space your use as an office (even if it’s your dining room), the utilities you use to power it, and the technology you need to do your job.
Moral of the story, familiarize yourself with the available deductions in your tax region and take full advantage of them. After all, you work hard! You deserve the reward.
Level Up Your Knowledge; Level Down Your Taxes
Speaking of working hard: in the fitness industry, half the battle is keeping up to date on the latest trends, technology, and research. It’s like a kaleidoscope out there! Every time you look, it’s a little bit different.
To stay on top of your game, you might find yourself registering for a few courses (or even an entire degree) throughout your career. And while those out-of-pocket expenses can hurt, they might not sting as much if you can recover some of those professional development costs on your taxes.
Again, this totally depends on where you live, but in some places, you can claim those tuition or education costs and use them as tax credits to offset the amount you need to pay.
That’s right, you get to become most up-to-date trainer on the block and you get to save a little bit on your taxes. Stay in school, kids!
Get Organized (and Stay That Way)
Now that you know how to keep a little more money in your pocket, let’s find a way to make the whole process of filing your taxes smoother and more stress-free.
Our pro tip? Make organization part of your regular business habits.
When you’re busy helping clients, growing your business, and creating a brand, it can be easy to let the “little” things like proper record keeping or document management fall by the wayside.
Boy do we get it; it happens to best of us! And for most of the year, it’s only a minor concern, but when April rolls around and you start looking for those important documents, it can suddenly become a big problem.
If you make tools like (ahem!) Trainerize part of your business, staying on top of those business records can actually be pretty easy, saving you lots of searching and lots of stress by automating your record-keeping.
With a digital platform powering your business—especially your payments—everything is safely stored away, easy to access when you need it, 100% exportable, and (the best part!) doesn’t come in stacks of papers cluttering up your home or office.
If you haven’t already added a digital platform to your business, make sure you consider it. Not only will it make tax season easier, but you’ll get to enjoy all the other benefits year round.
SEE how Trainerize Pay can help you stay on top of all things money in your fitness business and make tax season a breeze.