Good news: Most expenses you pay for your business are deductible (though limits and/or timing rules may come into play). Common business-owner costs that can be deducted include: advertising, studio rent, office supplies, bank fees, postage, accounting fees, liability insurance and internet access. Other deductible costs to consider:
Car expenses and travel costs If you use your personal car for business driving, you can deduct your expenses using the IRS-set 2017 rate of 53.5 cents per mile, plus parking and tolls. (If you’d rather deduct your actual costs, talk to your tax advisor.) To claim any write-off, you must have records—a written log or an app—to show your mileage, the date, your destination and the purpose of each trip. If you go out of town for a competition/convention or other business reasons, you can deduct your travel costs. Note that the cost of your meals on these trips, however, is only 50 percent deductible.
Contributions to your employees’ retirement accounts
Dues and subscriptions Your annual subscription to DT is deductible. (If you prepay dues and subscriptions that cover more than a year, you can only deduct the portion of the cost for one year.)
Costs unique to dance teachers Being a dance teacher or studio owner means you have expenses that other businesses don’t, like: dancewear and costuming; music (sheet music, CDs, DVDs, iTunes); muscle conditioning and massage; dance classes or seminars you take to stay in shape or educate yourself; and makeup, hair and nails for performances. Any state or local licenses or permits you may have paid to conduct dance lessons or run a studio are deductible, too. —Barbara Weltman