Helpful Hints to Make Your Tax Season Stress-Free

Dun dun dun! I said it – taxes. Ug. Could a blog post be more dry? I promise I will keep it short and sweet and give you some useful take home information for your private practice.

Let me first clearly state that I am not an accountant, nor do I have any formal training in accounting. This information is solely what I learned from visiting my accountant and I would advise you to consult with your accountant for more detailed information that is specific to your situation.

That being said, I want to share with you some tax deductions that can be reported for your business. Some of these are obvious, and some I had never even thought of:

Musical instruments –>shakers, drums, bells

Music therapy props –> books, scarves, parachute

Music therapy equipment –> guitar strings, tuner, picks

Supplies –> printer, ink, paper, staples

Gas  for driving to see clients –> (keep track of your mileage)

Working from your home

Entertainment –> business dinners

Dues –> AMTA, CBMT, your regional association

Conference fees –> national and regional conferences, training fees

Marketing fees –> advertisements, website fees (hosting and domain name), letterhead paper, business cards

– Even your accountant fee!

I keep all my business receipts in an envelope marked “Music Therapy Business Receipts 2011.” Even if I am not sure if something can be deducted as a business expense, I still set aside the receipt, and my accountant helps me determine whether it is an appropriate deduction or not.

I also have a document that lists each one of my expenses (similarly to how I have it listed above) and bring this with me to my appointment. This way everything is clearly laid out and my accountant could help me decide which category to put each expense into.

April 15 will be here before we know it and so I hope this information was helpful. I wish I had known this when I first started private work, so I could have kept better track of my expenses. What do YOU think, have I left anything out?




Image courtesy of [Avrind Balaraman] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Comments (7)

  • Ashley Lundquist

    Thank you! Since April will be the first time for me paying taxes working as a private therapist, I was really not looking forward to it. I was pretty much clueless until I went to the accountant’s office. I still appreciate your post because I didn’t think about taking out things like paper and ink even though I use it constantly for work!

    • Amy

      Hi Ashley,
      I’m glad it was helpful AND I’m glad you sought the advice of an accountant like I did. I would advise everyone to do so. It is worth the money they will save you! Best of luck!
      Amy 🙂

  • Andrea

    Thanks for this great information! I’ve just started working as a music teacher in a primary school in Australia, these tips will come in handy for sure. It’s a good habit to get into now, rather than a panic at Tax Time. I’ll be making an envelop for my receipts too now. Cheers, @missdsings

    • Amy

      Thanks for the comments Andrea! So glad this was helpful!
      Amy 🙂

  • Sam brodsgaard

    I would only add: Cell phone, Internet, and computer.

  • Sam brodsgaard

    I would only add: Cell phone, Internet, and computer plans and purchases are deductible.

    • Amy

      That’s so great, yes thank you for adding those!!


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