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Common Tax Deductions for Massage Therapists

Common Tax Deductions for Massage Therapists

Eligible Deductions

In general, an expense is tax deductible if it meets three conditions established by the Internal Revenue Service:

  1. You incurred the expense in connection with your practice.
  2. The expense is ordinary (common or accepted as an expense of running a massage therapy practice) and necessary (appropriate or helpful for developing and maintaining your practice).
  3. The deduction is based on precedent and on the reasonable belief that it is accurate.

    Keep Your Receipts

    When it comes to claiming a business expense as a tax deduction, it is important that you keep all receipts. If you set up a filing system and spreadsheet that allows you to keep your expenses and receipts organized as you incur them throughout the year, the job of compiling your tax information at the end of the year will be much easier.

    Common Deductions for a Practice

    The inclusion of an item on the following list does not mean that it is necessarily eligible as a business tax deduction. Consult with your accountant, tax advisor, or the IRS on all questions about appropriate deductions.


    office supplies
    massage supplies
    cost of acquiring merchandise
    magazine subscriptions
    fees for consultants
    credit card fees
    bank account fees
    wages or fees paid
    telephone charges
    property tax
    sales tax
    business tax
    license fees
    depreciation on fixed assets
    rent/mortgage payments
    utilities for office space
    linens and/or cleaning service
    gifts to clients
    business travel
    business mileage
    business meals
    home office expenses
    continuing education
    business conference fees
    business books or references
    association dues
    music for client sessions

    Always Get Professional Advice

    Rules for what is allowable and not allowable as a tax deduction change almost every year. Also, some deductions, such as expenses for travel, entertaining, and percentage of space used for your practice, are limited, so it is necessary to understand the specific rules that apply to these areas. Penalties and interest for paying the wrong amount of taxes can cost much more than the fees you might spend to hire a professional tax advisor.

     For more information regarding taxes, see The Business of Massage textbook and business forms, and contact a professional tax advisor.  


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