Tax Planning Tips For Equine Professionals

Posted on: 13 March 2019

Working as a trainer, riding instructor, equine massage therapist, or other professional in the equine industry is not for the faint of heart. Not only do you have to deal with 1,200 pound animals day in and day out, but you also have to deal with their owners! You do it because you love it — but one aspect of running your business that you probably don't love is filing your taxes. Thankfully, tax time does not have to be so painful with these tax tips for equine professionals.

1. Make estimated payments throughout the year.

Assuming you are self-employed like most equine professionals, you don't have an employer to withhold and submit taxes for you. If you don't pay a dime in taxes all year, you'll owe a hefty sum to the IRS by the time tax season arrives, and you'll probably have to pay a fine because you did not pay these taxes ahead during the year. Get into the habit of setting aside a portion of your income for taxes every month. Setting aside one third of your income is a good general guideline. Let it build up in a separate account, and then once a quarter, make an estimated tax payment. Estimated taxes are generally due April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15th every year.

2. Use an app to log your receipts.

Anything that can be considered a business expense can be written off as a deduction on your taxes. This includes poles you needed to buy for your arena, a stool you needed to stand on to massage horses, a hammer for your farrier work, and so forth. Keeping receipts for all of these items can be tedious, and you're likely to lose a few. Instead, download and use an app that allows you to take pictures of your receipts and categorize them all. 

3. Hire a tax preparation expert.

While you may be tempted to do your taxes yourself in an effort to save money, you'll ultimately save more by hiring a professional who knows exactly what you can and cannot afford to write off. If possible, hire an accountant who is familiar with the horse industry. Ask your clients who they can recommend — you may even have a client who does taxes and is willing to exchange their services for a few lessons, a massage, or a set of shoes.

For more information, contact a company that provides personal tax planning services.