Let’s face it; no one enjoys taxes. When tax season rolls around, there is a sense of impending dread that fills business people and hard workers from all walks of life. Whether you try to get an early start to ward off the stress or you bury your head in the sand and wait until the last possible second, doing your taxes is a horrid inevitability.
Melodrama aside, preparing for tax season is not fun, but you can take steps to be prepared. While we aren’t going to do your taxes for you, we do have a handful of helpful hints that can reduce your stress and better your tax filing process this year.
Before tax season sneaks up on you (it has a nasty habit of doing that), be sure to check out our mini guide to barbering taxes below. Trust us; these tax practices for barbers are key to simplifying an often complex and frustrating ordeal.
Preparing for Tax Season as a Barber
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an overwhelmed beginner, tax season can be daunting. This is especially true for those working as barbers, shop owners, and independent contractors. The barbering industry is just complicated enough to add an extra wrinkle to tax season, so we’re ironing out the details below!
Track Your Deductions
Barbering is an involved profession that requires a spectrum of products, supplies, and associated expenses. Tracking your business-related expenses is key to receiving the maximum deduction possible on your taxes, thereby lowering your tax burden.
Luckily, the list of deductions is typically long for barbers, so keeping detailed records is imperative. Potential deductions include advertising, insurance, contract labor, employee benefits, office expenses, supplies, utilities, and more.
If you have the opportunity, speak with a tax expert to develop a comprehensive list of your deductions. Otherwise, do a bit of research and track all of your barbering-related spending. It’s better to be overly detailed than accidentally overlook a deduction.
Take Advantage of Education Tax Credits
If you are continuing your education in order to expand your skill set and grow your barbering business, you may qualify for tax credits via the Lifetime Learning Credit. This opportunity can help you cover your tuition, as well as expenses related to your education.
Qualifying for a tax credit like the Lifetime Learning Credit is even more beneficial than a deduction because it lowers your taxes, not your income. This translates to a greater reduction in your overall tax burden.
Start Early and Know Your Deadlines
Despite tax season looming in the near future, it can be easy to focus on other things. From your barbering career to spending time with your family to binge-watching the latest season of your favorite show, it can seem as though anything is more important and more appealing than starting your taxes.
Unfortunately, this strategy rarely pays off. Even though you have a lot going on, starting your taxes in a timely manner is vital. If you don't, the approaching deadlines will be more stressful, and you'll have less time to gather the necessary materials, correct any mistakes, and ensure you are receiving the maximum deduction.
If you are having trouble fitting taxes into your busy schedule, consider setting consistent reminders on your phone, plastering the deadline on your wall, and posting it in your office–the more reminders, the better!
Would you go to an accountant for a haircut?
We didn’t think so. As a barber, your job is to craft unruly hair into works of art, give people a healthy boost in confidence, and be a haircutting, beard styling maestro. You’re an expert in your field, and people come to you for a reason–they want a stellar haircut.
If doing your taxes is overwhelming, taking too much time away from your business, or causing you an unhealthy amount of stress, there is no shame in seeking the help of a professional. In addition to reducing the level of stress you are feeling, a certified public accountant (CPA) can also help you maximize your deductions (saving you money) and ensure everything tax-related is done correctly (avoiding penalties and fees).
Tax season doesn’t have to be the end of the world–it doesn’t even have to feel like it! We hope the best tax practices for barbers help make this year’s taxes a little easier, leaving you to focus on what you love.
For more barbering information, including guides like this, be sure to subscribe to the National Association of Barbers. From taxes to trending hairstyles, NAOB consistently brings you the latest, most applicable barbering insights.