Tax Time! Inside: The most important expense categories for your fitness business

OK fitness business owners, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs!  It's tax time again, and I want to make sure you are clear, organized, and excited about reporting as many expenses for your fitbiz as you possibly can!

Back to taxes!!! First thing first, this article is NOT meant to be used for legal advice, so please consult your tax attorney or certified accountant. Second, it's important that you track your expenses because it DOES cost money to be the awesome fitness instructor you are, and you do deserve to take home every hard-earned penny you make!

As a former bookkeeper and financial manager, I know a thing or two about numbers and doing your best to make sure they come out to your favor. So here it goes!  

Here are the most important expense categorieswith specific fitness business examplesyou need to be tracking for your income tax return:

Advertising Expenses:  This is how you get the word out about your business!

  • Business cards
  • Phone book listings
  • All internet ads (I write off my FB ads!!!)
  • Promotional swag (t-shirts, bags, pens, etc)
  • Brochures, mailers, and flyers (printed collateral)
  • Website creation and hosting
  • Email marketing services (your Mailchimp, for example)

Business Travel Expenses:  Travel to conferences, out of town meetings, etc.

  • Airfare or other public transportation
  • Hotel expenses
  • Rental cars, taxis, or shuttles
  • Internet access fees while away
  • Tips to bell hops, drivers, etc. (doesn't include meals)

Communication Expenses:  How you communicate with your clients, potential clients, staff and team members

  • Your business phone line
  • Your business cell phone
  • Your business internet service
  • Video-conferencing services
  • Voicemail and answering services

Contract Labor: For people you paid but did not withhold any type of taxes

  • Fees paid to anyone who did work for you—independent contractors and freelancers
  • If you paid anyone over $600, you must send that individual an IRS Form 1099-MISC

Legal and Professional Expenses: Fees paid for short-term professional advice

  • Professional association membership fees (this is where I put my Team Beachbody coaching business fees and PSYCH-K® Preferred Affiliate fees)
  • Legal Fees
  • Accounting Fees/Bookkeeper
  • Working with Angela one on one (wink!)

Repair and Maintenance Expenses: Any upkeep or maintenance on the equipment or space you own for your business

  • Repairing ANYTHING in a work space that you own (your studio for example)
  • Computer repair (even freeing up space on your hard drive or getting your email to work!)
  • Janitorial services for your studio

Supplies: Incidental items that cost $200 or less (each) or last less than a year

  • All pens, paper, printer ink
  • Shipping supplies including stamps
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Calendars and planners (yay!  I get to write off my Passion Planner!)

Taxes and License Expenses:

  • Payroll taxes for employees
  • Business licenses and permits (the monthly dues for your speciality formats such as Zumba® Fitness)
  • Professional license and renewal fees

Utilities: Only if you have a separate office/studio space

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Water
  • Trash and Sewage
  • Security Alarm Services

Office Expenses: Any additional expenses you incurred this year that were related ONLY to your office/studio space

  • Business membership fees to bulk stores like Costco and Sam's Club
  • Pickup and Delivery services
  • Bottled water delivery

Insurance Payments:

  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance (I wrote off my fitness instructor liability insurance here)

Interest Payments:

  • Business credit card interest charges
  • Loans and interest on property

Meals and Entertainment: 50% deduction

  • All meals plus tips while traveling
  • Entertainment costs

Rental Expenses:

  • Computer rental
  • Copier rental
  • Retail, warehouse, or studio space rental

Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Bank charges

  • Business gifts

  • Professional library

  • Conference fees

  • Continuing education

And there you have it! When you set up your bookkeeping and comb through all those charges, make sure you keep your eye on these main categories!  Remember, this list is not meant to be legal advice or the complete list of expenses you will need to report for your business. Please consult with a professional as every business is different and the laws vary from state to state!

Have fun! And when you write that check to the IRS, be grateful you are able pay it and thankful you have a rockin' business!

I help fitness instructors fill their classes and increase their longevity & happiness in the fitness industry.  

It's time you use your talents and passion as a fitness instructor so you can become the #bossqueen of your business & your life.

As an Advanced PSYCH-K® Facilitator, I understand how your mind works, what's happening in your head and how you need to SHOW UP in your life and your business in order to make the money you want and have a business & life that you ADORE.

I've built successful online and offline health & fitness businesses and am now helping other smart, purpose driven, and hard working women build thriving health & fitness businesses too.

I own and operate a health & fitness studio in southern Colorado, am a stay-at-home mamma, and Advanced PSYCH-K® facilitator.