Tax Tips for Golf Teaching Professionals
Today’s tax laws are so complicated that unless your financial affairs are extremely simple, chances are you could benefit from at least occasional assistance from a certified public accountant. Don’t be caught in the trap of assuring that cutting taxes means hiring high priced experts to find “loopholes” in the tax law, a technique reserved only for rich people. The simple fact is that the tax law is the same for everyone and the same tax planning strategies are available to everyone.
Don’t pay more taxes than the law requires! There are several basic tax-cutting strategies available to all taxpayers, including shifting income and/or deductions, deferring tax liability, or simply structuring your affairs to obtain a tax deduction for some expense paid for things you already enjoy – a vacation home for example.
As a golf professional, whether you are considered an independent contractor (i.e. self-employed) or are working as an employee of another company, you may be incurring out-of-pocket expenses which could be deductible on your personal income tax return. The following is a list of just a few of those expenses that may qualify as a tax deduction.
Golf shoes and uniforms (clothing which has affixed to it a company logo or other business name indicating its business purpose);
- Golf bags, clubs, and other golf equipment;
- Meals while away from home on business;
- Travel expenses (i.e. hotel accommodations, airfare, car rental, bus and/or train tickets, business mileage on use of personal vehicle);
- Seminar and golf school fees, including re-certification fees;
- Licensing and professional membership dues
Maintaining a proper record keeping system is a must if you are going to properly document your deductions. A separate appointment book with a place to record mileage and expenses usually works the best. If you are self-employed, you should consider opening a separate checking account in order to keep track of any business transactions. You know your affairs better than anyone. Whether your accounting and tax need are business-related or personal in nature, you need to know what questions to ask. Don’t make the mistake of staying “in the dark” about your financial and tax situation just because you are relying on a tax professional to handle everything for you. You can leave the technical details to your accountant, but you should become familiar enough with the general workings of tax planning and the tax law so that you can work as a team to put you in the best tax position possible!
The above article was written by long-time USGTF accountant Nora Catano. Nora recently passed away from lung cancer at the age of 52. The USGTF certainly appreciates Nora’s contributions to the growth of our organization. Our condolences go our to Nora’s friends and family.