Massage Therapists and Taxes

It’s tax week, with all taxpayers having until Thursday, April 15 to file their income taxes for 2009. While this is a stressful time for all industrious Americans, it is especially taxing (ha!) for massage therapists.

Taxes are difficult for massage therapists because of the varied nature of their business. While some only work at a clinic, and have a steady, standard source of income, others work at different companies, businesses, and private residences throughout the year. This can make keeping track of income – and the amount of taxes needing to be paid on that income – extremely difficult.

Moreover, massage therapists can have a difficult time claiming deductions for business expenses. Again, while some massage therapists work as employees for a company that supplies them with a fixed location and all supplies needed for their job, many massage therapists work as independent contractors, or as a mix of independent contractor and employee.

This can make claiming business expenses, such as massage supplies, clothing, taxes paid on income, and educational/professional resources, difficult to keep track of. A specific of example of this is the fact that driving to a job as a contractor is different from driving to a job as an employee. Furthermore there is the forming and maintaining a home office/business – which many therapists do – and the difficulties in declaring related expenses.

All this means three things: Massage therapists have a stressful time during tax season (even though they are often going to tax accounting offices to prove stress-busting relief); massage therapists need to be extremely diligent in their tax knowledge, record keeping and tracking of receipts; and, finally, if you know a massage therapist, be sure to offer him or her a hug and words of encouragement this week – or even consider ordering them a massage if they look stressed out!

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