Imagine that you’re a character in a video game. You can level-up your powers and abilities by purchasing extra tools and tricks, which help you get further in the game.
Only in the income tax game, you can win double when you level-up. Not only can you save on your taxes when you invest in (level-up) your business, but your upgrades also enable you to increase the tuition you charge.
As a piano teacher, you’re the owner of a small business and like all small business owners, you can claim business expenses. In this article we’re going to cover purchases that level-up your operations and reduce your taxes.
Governments around the globe encourage business owners to build up our businesses. They do this by allowing you to buy equipment and furniture and anything directly related to your business and claim the costs against your income, reducing the amount of income tax you owe.
Instead of paying higher taxes, why not invest in yourself and your earning power?
It’s great to remember that right now you can make purchases for your piano studio that you’ll be able to use immediately and claim next year against the income you’re earning today!
That’s why the best things in life are tax deductible!
Here are a few of my favourite things…items you, too, can purchase for your piano teaching business that will help you deliver better piano lessons (and save on taxes!).
1. Level-up your education
No matter what your background is in music, every piano teacher benefits from ongoing education and staying current. Last year I covered a lot of ground and was able to claim all of my upgrading. This year, I’ve joined TopMusicPro.
When you stay curious and tap into others’ expertise you save yourself time figuring everything out on your own. Getting help from others is like getting a hand up.
Plus, you power-up your teaching. You onboard more strategies for a diverse studio of students and can clear more hurtles.
But how will you afford it?
Why not enrol just one or two extra students and earmark their tuition as your education fund? Right off the bat, tuck it into a different bank account so you won’t be tempted to use it for anything else. I guarantee that you’ll have fun finding ways to spend it on your education. Then, turn around next year and claim the amount you’ve invested in yourself and your qualifications, and save on your taxes.
And, because your qualifications have been bumped up, you’ll be able to charge more tuition.
- Take more piano lessons from a mentor teacher. With online lessons, the possibilities seem endless.
- Join a membership site like TopMusicPro.
- Take lessons that widen your own experience, like jazz piano.
2. Get an adjustable piano bench
If you’re serious about developing good technique and posture in your students, an adjustable bench is a must!
Did you know that tension and wrist problems usually begin when a student sits too low or too high? So many physical problems can be fixed beginning with one simple upgrade: an adjustable bench.
The bench that’s pictured here is the German designed and built Andexinger Lift-o-matic. I got mine this year and can’t believe I waited so long!
When the levers are pulled, it adjusts up and down the same as an office chair. It can be adjusted for all student sizes from your tiniest beginners to your strapping teens!
It’s heavy-duty and even my squirmiest students won’t shake it!
For less than one student’s annual tuition (about half) you can up the ante in your studio with a professional piano bench.
3. Invest in rhythm instruments
In all stages of learning piano, piano students need to develop a deep instinct for beat, rhythm and metre.
A cajón helps you teach these foundational elements with more creativity! The reason you want one in your piano studio is because it’s invaluable for developing beat and it’s FUN!!!
Steady beat – you can tap along with your student. While a metronome can make students feel like you’re trying to hem them in, a cajón makes it feel like they’re keeping beat with a band. Or, your student can tap along while you play the piano.
Metre – because the cajón makes low and high sounds, it’s great for developing a feel for time signatures. Students can tap low on beat one (a bass drum sound) and high for the remaining beats of the measure (a snare drum sound).
Rhythm – tap-backs help kids learn and produce music by ear.
Pictured here is my newest treasure, my cajón. The only thing more beautiful than its polished wooden inlays is the sound. (Doing my happy dance because of the gorgeous sound!) The first time I heard it, I absolutely fell in love.
Whatever your budget, there’s a cajón to fit! You can even rent for a month (or less) if you want to do a special limited-time focus on rhythm with your whole studio.
And the entire time you’re using it in your lessons, you’ll feel even more joy knowing that you can claim its purchase or rental fee on your next income tax return!
4. Get gadgets that make online teaching easier
From light rings to web cams to wireless headphones, any of the tech bits you buy for teaching online can be claimed when you do your taxes. Therefore, don’t do without! Invest in the things you need to make online teaching easier on you!
Save all of your receipts!
Not only are these tech gadgets useful, they often take strain off of you physically and are good for your wellbeing and health.
5. Upgrade your teaching instrument
Are you due for a better piano? Trust me, it’s the most important business purchase a piano teacher can make. When you teach on a quality instrument, you can charge more for lessons. Period.
This kind of investment will be claimed over time with depreciation, like all large equipment purchases. It might even make sense for you to borrow to purchase it and make monthly payments on your loan. Why wait? This is one purchase you’ll never regret.
6. Pay for professional accounting help
When you’re figuring out exactly how to make your business claims, it’s best to get help.
I’ve been using TurboTax with great success! They have several tiers of service, and I choose the one that offers an online consultation with an accountant. This professional will comb through your accounting and help to point out things you may not have thought of or corrections you must make.
TurboTax is especially helpful because it gives you industry codes for the various kinds of claims (furniture has a different code than the use of your car). It also helps you know which claims can be made all in one year and which ones must be depreciated over several years.
Then, when it’s all done, you can claim the professional fees you paid for TurboTax!
So, are you ready to invest in yourself and your business? And so doing, pay lower taxes?
Here’s my challenge to you: budget for upgrades on your own education and in the equipment you use in your studio business! Power up!
Soon you’ll realize that the best things in life truly are tax deductible!
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I appreciate shares, comments and likes. Happy teaching! ❤
Video of the Week
Monkey in the Middle is a game-like rote and note piece that explores black and white key patterns and hand-over-hand playing. In the story of the music, Monkey is invited to play, then wonders whether he’ll ever win, finishing with his triumph at the game! Check out the Monkey in the Middle eSheet!