List of tax deductions for hair stylists

Written by bridget kelly
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  • Introduction

    List of tax deductions for hair stylists

    Hairstylists, whether classified as employees or independent contractors, have a lot to think about come tax time. Allowable tax deductions are usually in the forefront; how can hairstylists keep more of their hard-earned money?

    (Melanie Kuipers:, Mary Gober:, Flavio Takemoto:,, Mitchell Library State Library of New South Wales:,, Peter Ong:, Matt

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    IRS-Allowable Tax Deductions

    If you are self-employed, you can reduce your taxes with deductions for job-related expenses using IRS Form 1040 Schedule C. Employees can also itemise their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A.

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    Professional journals and trade magazines, such as "American Salon" and "California Stylist," are obvious deductions. Others include celebrity magazines ("People," "Us Weekly" and "In Touch"), women's magazines ( "InStyle," "Allure," "Cosmopolitan," "Elle") and other magazines ("Celebrity Hairstyles" and "Hype Hair") for clients. A professional stylist must be aware of emerging trends, and celebrities are often the trendsetters in the beauty and fashion world. Subscriptions to these magazines are a business-related expense. Every waiting room has magazines for clients to read. If you pay for those subscriptions and the salon doesn't reimburse you, the cost of these subscriptions is tax deductible.

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    Some salons require their stylists to wear uniforms. As long as the uniform is not something one would wear outside work, its cost and the cost of its upkeep (cleaning, mending, etc.) are tax deductible.  

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    Tools and Supplies

    Everything you use in the course of the workday falls into this category: scissors, blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons, clips, combs, brushes, shampoo, hair colouring, smocks.

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    Your initial training to become a hairstylist is not deductible as a business expense. Any seminars and courses you take to upgrade your skills, however, are deductible. This includes conventions that you may attend. Expenses incurred to take these courses include convention fees, hotels, meals and travel expenses to and from the convention or seminar. Just remember to save all receipts.

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    Miscellaneous Expenses

    All required licensing fees are tax deductible, as is whatever you pay for liability insurance. Don't forget to deduct accounting software. Office supplies are an often-overlooked expense. Items such as sticky notes and client receipts are also deductible. Advertising expenses may include business cards, web hosting for your business website, any direct mail pieces you send out, and postage, magazine and newspaper ads. Station leasing fees should be included, as well as any items that the salon owner may deduct from your salary, such as utilities, laundry fees and others.

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    Being Organized Helps

    When preparing for tax time, good organizational habits will serve you well; have a designated file for every last scrap of paper related to your business expenses. Because tax laws frequently change, it's best to consult your accountant for a full list of current business-related expenses that you can use as tax deductions.

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