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Topic Options
#2032187 - 02/12/13 11:40 PM Tax question
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 358
Can I deduct regular piano tunings? I would probably tune my piano somewhat regularly anyway, even if I wasn't teaching, and I use my piano for more than just lessons, but I definitely tune it more often as a teacher because I feel I owe it to my students, and it tends to need maintenance more often because I teach as well.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#2032190 - 02/12/13 11:58 PM Re: Tax question [Re: Brinestone]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yes, IMO. The piano is one of the tools you regularly use in your profession. Sometimes we teach using it, other times, we practice using it, but in both instances, it's for the purpose of teaching and earning income. Bear in mind that the IRS requires you to earn more than what you expend in costs, for something like every two or three years out of five, otherwise, teaching is considered a hobby, and nothing is deductible. Check with your tax attorney to be certain.
_________________________
"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

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#2032201 - 02/13/13 12:19 AM Re: Tax question [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Yes, IMO.

I'm very surprised you feel you need to put an "IMO" on it!

If piano tunings aren't deductible for a piano teacher, I don't know what would ever be deductible for anybody.

Let me say this, with an "IMO" on it for the heck of it, also because I'm not an accountant or tax lawyer: grin
Only from the most extremely cautious view would one even think of suggesting it's not deductible. And in any event, the only thing you're risking by deducting it is being audited and maybe (doubtfully) having it disallowed and then having to pay the tax. It's not close to a kind of thing that would ever be regarded as fraud or evasion or which would incur any penalty.

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
....Bear in mind that the IRS requires you to earn more than what you expend in costs, for something like every two or three years out of five....

Yes -- pretty sure it's 2 out of 5.

Quote:
.....otherwise, teaching is considered a hobby, and nothing is deductible.

It's a little better than that: you'd always still be able to deduct any musical expenses up to the amount of whatever revenue you had from the teaching during the year. You just wouldn't be able to deduct any extra amount of expenses to take as a subtraction from whatever non-music income you had.

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#2032215 - 02/13/13 12:52 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Brinestone]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I have always deducted the cost of my piano tunings.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2032235 - 02/13/13 01:57 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Brinestone]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1027
Loc: Irvine, CA
(1) Studio rent and utilities. If you teach at home, you may
deduct the business related portion of your utilities.
(2) Reference materials: books, magazines, recordings, music
(3) Office supplies: paper, pens & pencils, envelopes, postage, stickers & incentives, etc.
(4) Telephone – the business related portion only.
(5) Equipment and maintenance: Computers, computer
software, electric keyboards, printer, copy machine, fax machine, answering machine piano tuning and repair, metronome, etc.
(6) Membership dues for professional organizations
(7) Workshops, private lessons and courses
(8) Business travel (state the purpose of your trip) – including air fare, car mileage (check the annual legal deductible rate) or rental, lodging, meals, incidentals related to travel (taxi or limo, etc.)
(9) Child care

Source
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http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2032243 - 02/13/13 02:25 AM Re: Tax question [Re: ezpiano.org]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19873
Loc: New York
I guess you mean it's under:

(5) Equipment and maintenance

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#2032305 - 02/13/13 07:30 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Mark_C]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7418
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Mark, I put an IMO on the post because I know nothing of the OP's circumstance. It's my understanding that the IRS will not let a hobbyist deduct any expense involved in that hobby. As it doesn't apply to me, I haven't worried about it much, but as to not incur a fine, the OP would be well advised to discuss it with someone in the profession.

John
_________________________
"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

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#2032351 - 02/13/13 09:03 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Brinestone]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 358
I make far more than I spend to keep my business running. If I didn't, I wouldn't keep doing it. smile I mean, hobbies are fun, but they don't pay the bills, you know?

Thanks for the responses. They have been immensely helpful.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#2032391 - 02/13/13 10:21 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Mark_C]
Chris Goslow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/11
Posts: 49
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Yes, IMO.

I'm very surprised you feel you need to put an "IMO" on it!

If piano tunings aren't deductible for a piano teacher, I don't know what would ever be deductible for anybody.


!! Exactly.
_________________________
Pianist/Composer/Songwriter/Music Artist website: http://www.chrisgoslow.com
My Piano Teaching website: http://www.pianolessonsinsacramento.com

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#2032414 - 02/13/13 11:09 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Brinestone]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1382
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
*Every time you touch your piano, you are touching it as a piano teacher - whether a student is present or not.*

Just keep silently mouthing that mantra to yourself. No tax person can prove it's not true.

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#2033649 - 02/15/13 10:40 AM Re: Tax question [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Chris Goslow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/11
Posts: 49
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
*Every time you touch your piano, you are touching it as a piano teacher - whether a student is present or not.*

Just keep silently mouthing that mantra to yourself. No tax person can prove it's not true.


Great point. "We are our instrument." All is connected. This is your profession, this is your livelihood, therefore, it's all part of the business.
_________________________
Pianist/Composer/Songwriter/Music Artist website: http://www.chrisgoslow.com
My Piano Teaching website: http://www.pianolessonsinsacramento.com

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