For all things they taught us in Yoga Teacher Training, how to file taxes as a yoga teacher was not one of them! Filing and paying taxes can be stressful – we definitely don’t want to be paying more tax than necessary, but we also want to avoid making incorrect declarations in case of an audit.
One of the best strategies to stay on top of your taxes is to keep records of everything, all year round. Knowing which expenses can be claimed and which cannot, can help you stay organized and will make filing your taxes a breeze. We’ve put together a helpful guide to make tax season a little bit easier for yoga teachers.
*Please note that tax regulations vary depending on country and region. We recommend consulting with an accountant for specific tax-related questions.
Disclosure: This resource may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase using these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps us keep creating great content for you. We are only affiliates for products and services that we love and use ourselves. Thanks!
Common Claimable Expenses
Studio Rent and / or Home Office Expense
If you rent studio space for your yoga classes, the rent you pay is a claimable expense. Now that many of us are teaching yoga online because of the COVID-19, the part of your home you use to teach yoga can be considered a home office.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated home office, you can allocate a portion of your living room or bedroom as your home office to work out the portion of your expenses that you can claim. For example, if your office space is 10% of your entire home, you would be eligible to claim 10% of your mortgage, heating, electricity and other utility bills.
This same principle works for phone and Internet bills, based on the percentage of these services that you use to run your yoga business.
Costs of Running a Business
Running a business can quickly rack up a bunch of expenses, but thankfully, these can be claimed on your taxes.
Software that you use in your business including accounting software, scheduling software, and even Zoom can be claimed as an expense when filing your taxes. If you run ads to promote your yoga business, or put out marketing and promotional material, these can also be claimed, in addition to the cost of your website.
Hiring subcontractors and outsourcing tasks to run your business, such as accounting and bookkeeping services, web design, and marketing consulting are also expenses that you can claim. Bank fees and interest and fees on business loans also fall into this category and can be claimed.
Supplies like yoga mats, blocks, cushions, essential oils, and other props can be claimed as an expense in your yoga business. For teaching online, tech equipment such as microphones, webcams and lightboxes can also be claimed if purchased for the sole purpose of teaching yoga.
You may be wondering if your computer can be claimed as an expense – a portion of it can be claimed depending on how much you use your computer for your yoga business.
Often overlooked but critical to a yoga teacher is insurance – and it’s often overlooked as an expense that can be claimed as well! Self-employed insurance premiums for healthcare and dental, as well as Professional Liability and Commercial and Tenant Liability can be claimed on your taxes. If you are required to take a CPR course in order to teach yoga, this can also be claimed.
Membership & Subscription Fees
A member of Yoga Alliance or Pelvic Health Professionals? Subscribe to Yoga Journal? Pay for Spotify for yoga music? The good news is these membership and subscription fees, as well as any others you have in relation to your yoga business, are all claimable expenses.
Great news for all yoga teachers who love taking courses or workshops to expand their offerings, or maintain or improve on their teaching skills. As long as it is not your first certification, Advanced Yoga Teacher Training, Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training, meditation workshops, Ayurveda courses, and any other seminar or conference related to teaching yoga can be claimed on your taxes. And if you hire a business coach to help you in running your yoga business, that can also be counted as a deductible expense under Training and Professional Development.
Note: Your first Yoga Teacher Training course is typically not considered a claimable expense as courses that qualify you for new work are not included in this category. Check with your accountant to be sure.
Vehicle expenses can be tricky as they are allowed only in certain specific cases. Check with your yoga studio – it depends on your contract with them if you will be allowed to claim mileage and vehicle-related expenses.
Apart from that, if you are traveling between yoga studios, to the home of a private client, or for other business-related reasons, you can deduct these costs as a part of vehicle expenses.
Traveling for a yoga event? You can claim on airfare, accommodation, and other related expenses. Business or networking events and meetings can also be claimed. Up to 50% of meals and entertainment can be claimed if they are related to your yoga business.
Common Non-Claimable Expenses
Clothes and Apparel
As much as we would love to claim on our Lululemon and Athleta yoga apparel, tax authorities do not allow these expenses to be claimed. Unless what you wear to teach yoga is a uniform ( we don’t mean a self-declared uniform of black leggings and white top) and does not form part of an ‘everyday’ wardrobe, clothes cannot be claimed as an expense.
Travel from Home to Studio
If you only teach at one yoga studio, the cost of travel to and from this studio is non-claimable. If you teach at multiple studios, this cost is also not claimable on travel to the principal place of work i.e. the studio you teach at most frequently.
Recommendations for Accounting Software
With so many different expenses to keep track of, it can quickly get overwhelming if you don’t have a system in place for your accounting. Using accounting software can help you stay more organized.
Common favorites among yoga teachers in The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group are:
TurboTax by Intuit is also a recommended choice to prepare tax documents for yoga teachers within the US.
If figuring out new software to get your books in order is intimidating, don’t worry! Some yoga teachers manage all of their accounting and bookkeeping tasks with something as simple and basic as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets – what’s important is starting with a system that makes sense to you and that you use regularly.
Alternatively, accounting and bookkeeping tasks can be outsourced (and are claimable on your taxes!) so that’s another route to consider.
Pro-Tips to Make Tax Season Easier
- Verify your employment status – taxation requirements are different for employees compared to independent contractors or sole proprietors. Knowing which category you fall into is critical to filing your taxes correctly.
- Maintain a separate bank account for your yoga business. It avoids confusion and makes it much easier to keep track of income and business expenses.
- Keep all your receipts, invoices, bank statements and any other financial documents organized and/or filed. This will make things easier during tax time as you have all the information you need to file your taxes correctly.
- Check out Kelly Christian’s FREE Small Business Start Up Library for checklists and guides on getting your finances in order for tax season.
- Taxes and tax regulations are different in every country, state and province. While this list and the podcast episodes listed below are great for reference, at the end of the day, it is important to check with a local accountant.
Are you feeling all set to tackle your taxes? Let us know in the comments!
About the Author
Crunch Ranjani is a copywriter & editor who specializes in writing content for health & wellness professionals.
She loves to travel and has been a digital nomad since 2013.
Visit Crunch's website.