Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1650253 - 03/29/11 01:23 PM Taxes Question
pianolassie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Colorado
I feel like I'm asking a question a day - oh wait! I am!

Today the topic is taxes!

When I decided to start teaching piano, I decided to get my piano tuned. It had been awhile due to a move. The piano tech discovered that my soundboard was cracked. That put me on a search for a new piano. I found a fabulous baby grand on craiglist which I purchased a few weeks ago.
I only teach piano for 4-6 hours a week from my home. And thepiano is for both personal and teaching use.

For tax purposes - what can I or should I declare?

The cost of the piano?
The cost of moving the piano?
The cost of regular tuning and maintenance?


Edited by pianolassie (03/29/11 01:24 PM)
_________________________
~Bethany

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1650288 - 03/29/11 02:01 PM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Disclaimer: Please consult a true tax consultant. I am not one.

I purchased a new piano three years ago and consulted a CPA. He found that I could deduct all of the things you mentioned. First, he had me figure out the percentage of "business use" that the new piano was. (I selected 98% because I have another piano that I can use for personal use.) I claimed a one time deduction for the entire price, but you can spread it over 7 years if you choose. I also deduct all business expenses such as insurance for the piano, tuning, and interest I pay on the loan.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

Top
#1650297 - 03/29/11 02:15 PM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
I'd second what Stanny says (not an accountant either though). Cost of moving can get wrapped into cost to purchase. Maintenance is usually claimed as a separate expense.

I'd recommend spreading out your deduction across 7 years ("depreciating" it) if you can, so that way you get the write-off each year.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1650315 - 03/29/11 02:34 PM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I've worked as an accountant for the past 20 years, so I have some experience. smile

You can deduct all of the costs associated with acquiring, transporting and maintaining your piano.

The above advice is correct.

Recurring costs, such as tuning and other maintainence related costs, are classified as expenses (i.e. the entire amount can be deducted in the taxable year the expenditure occurs).

The cost (acquisition cost and transportation) to acquire the piano is capitalized and considered a depreciable asset (i.e. the entire amount must be deducted over the IRS-defined useful life of the asset).

The IRS provides no specific guidelines for the depreciable (useful) life of a piano, but I would advise a five to seven year period. The shorter the life, the faster the recovery (i.e. bigger yearly deduction, equals less taxes). The closest categorization of a piano is 'office furniture or equipment' (yes, I'm aware its not very close).

As for what percentage you claim for personal versus business use, that is up to you as to whether your conscience tells you to report an accurate estimate or not. "Practically" speaking, its impossible prove or disprove that percentage, so the IRS has no choice but to take your word as to what percentage is used for business. Personally, I would just use 100%. The IRS will not be able to disprove your claim in the unlikely event of an audit, but again, that choice is up to you.

Hope this helps.



Edited by Akira (03/29/11 02:38 PM)

Top
#1650388 - 03/29/11 04:36 PM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I don't agree with only saying you use 98% or whatever of the piano for business. If I'm practicing a piece, it is usually for my own improvement or maintenance of my pianistic skills which are necessary for me to teach. How does one separate that from playing piano for teaching? Also, I accompany. But even if I'm only considering to write off the amount I play the piano to accompany, I still need to keep my "chops up" to be able to play these accompaniments with ease. So what part of my own maintenance is for "pleasure" and what part is for "business"? You really cannot separate, because I have pleasure in doing my business. Just because I enjoy it doesn't mean it's not necessary for my business to thrive. Just a pet peeve of mine that some CPAs try to convince you of (this happened to me my first year of teaching, and I didn't let my accountant get away with that - nor did I use her in subsequent years).

As far as how you write off the piano, that all depends on what your tax situation is. Since you are starting up, chances are you will have a lot of costs this year that you can write off right away, so you may want to depreciate the piano over 7 years (I think that's the rate for pianos). This way you will be able to deduct percentages of the cost of the piano over the 7 years rather than a huge chunk at once. But how much you do or if you write it all off at once is something your accountant can advise you on.

All of those things you listed can be written off, however. The maintenance would be written off completely in the year it was done.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1650530 - 03/29/11 08:42 PM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I couldn't really honestly say 100%. Last Christmas I had a party, and hired someone to play the piano for entertainment purposes. And at times, my adult children come home and play.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

Top
#1650849 - 03/30/11 08:46 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: Stanny]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11475
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I couldn't really honestly say 100%. Last Christmas I had a party, and hired someone to play the piano for entertainment purposes. And at times, my adult children come home and play.


So? You think every business person *never* uses something bought for business purposes for personal use too? These are the loopholes built into the tax code that make owning a business worthwhile. Of course, you do what you what and what you're comfortable with. But really, there's a point at which it becomes ridiculous to try and figure out true percentage of business use.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1650917 - 03/30/11 10:40 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Agreed Morodiene.

I would wager that more than one teacher here, is claiming full relief for a computer, that is also being used to post on PW wink
_________________________
Rob

Top
#1650926 - 03/30/11 10:50 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7316
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
There are many, many deductions which people commonly overlook.

Some are more obvious, such as: Purchasing CDs for your business' reference library. The CD rack as well (assuming you still buy CDs). Purchasing music books for your research/knowledge update.

Some you have to think outside the box, such as pro-rating your internet service between personal and business. It's always best/safest if you have separate services, but often, especially for a micro-business, that's just not feasible.

Cell phone service, especially for teachers who travel to students' homes. I need cell service because competitions, adjudications, etc., are not held at the studio but off-site. Of course, this means you need a land-line or another cell phone for personal use, or if you have free minutes your employer may give you permission to use the phone for limited personal use on a non-interfering basis.

You have a mandatory home-owners association fee; this can be prorated between personal and business use (use the square footage for each as the basis). In Washington State, the government has mandated all new developments have water catchments, certain drainage features, public green belts, street lighting, etc. This means they've shoved formerly state/county responsibilities onto these associations; you should treat these fees as the taxes they are.

Just a few ideas.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1650927 - 03/30/11 10:52 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: R0B]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7316
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: R0B
Agreed Morodiene.

I would wager that more than one teacher here, is claiming full relief for a computer, that is also being used to post on PW wink

And you can make a strong case that PW is a learning/job improving activity. Activities in and associated with professional associations and groups are fully deductible if they relate to your primary business.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1650938 - 03/30/11 11:03 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
John,
My tongue was firmly planted in my cheek, in that post smile

But I imagine, home business computers are also used for personal emails, Facebook etc, just as are commercial workplace computers.
_________________________
Rob

Top
#1650961 - 03/30/11 11:36 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: R0B]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7316
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
That was my impression, but it served as a useful springboard for reminding American teachers of possible additional deductions.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#1650974 - 03/30/11 11:48 AM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Yes, there can be many possible deductions that can be overlooked, such as studio furniture, wear and tear, providing waiting and restroom facilities, cleaning, etc. etc.

Back to the OP, I think you should claim the full allowance for all your piano costs, regardless of how many hours per week you use it for teaching.
It is after all, primarily used and purchased for teaching.

_________________________
Rob

Top
#1651963 - 03/31/11 07:05 PM Re: Taxes Question [Re: pianolassie]
MrsCamels Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 176
Loc: Los Angeles
deduct the whole thing. people check email on office computers, use office pencils to make a grocery list at your desk. the point of declaring personal vs. business use is to ward off obvious things like a set of golf clubs for a lawyer because he "occasionally does business on the golf green"
_________________________
Teaching since 2004
Private studio owner since 2008
www.ecsorota.com

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
92 registered (Anticlock, Atrys, Art_Vandelay, aesop, AmateurBob, anotherscott, 35 invisible), 1236 Guests and 26 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75609 Members
42 Forums
156347 Topics
2296294 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Debussy's opinion of other composers
by phantomFive
08/02/14 12:37 AM
Ivory v. Plastic Questions
by Retsacnal
08/01/14 11:50 PM
The worst student in your studio
by Cardinal201
08/01/14 11:43 PM
Piano Movers
by DancerJ
08/01/14 11:16 PM
Yamaha P-85 closer to a Grand Piano action than any Upright!
by Paul678
08/01/14 07:22 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission