Tax question

Posted by: Brinestone

Tax question - 02/12/13 11:40 PM

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.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Tax question - 02/12/13 11:58 PM

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.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 12:19 AM

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.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 12:52 AM

I have always deducted the cost of my piano tunings.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 01:57 AM

(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
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 02:25 AM

I guess you mean it's under:

(5) Equipment and maintenance
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 07:30 AM

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
Posted by: Brinestone

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 09:03 AM

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.
Posted by: Chris Goslow

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 10:21 AM

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.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Tax question - 02/13/13 11:09 AM

*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.
Posted by: Chris Goslow

Re: Tax question - 02/15/13 10:40 AM

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.