The recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is debatable, to say the least. Looking at the situation as a physician, at first glimpse, it seems as though physician independent contractor tax deductions would actually go up. If you make money outside of your “regular” job, you will most likely have some related expenses that are tax deductions. Persons such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, accountants, contractors, and subcontractors, who operate in an independent trade, business or profession and provide their services to the public, are generally independent contractors and self-employed. Being self-employed creates a number of challenges and opportunities as well. One of these challenges is finding and financing your own business benefits. Here are a few types of physician independent contractor tax deductions which in your situation may be applicable. Start-up Expenses The costs of commissioning a business are deductible – even if you have not sold any product or have not yet made a profit. The usual starting costs include registration fees for companies, legal fees for start-ups and start-ups, equipment and supply, licenses and permits and market research. Education and Training Taking courses about your job may enable tax deductions for medical professionals. If your employer demands that you take a course or complete a course to retain your job, this is deductible. You can also deduct expenses as you acquire continuing education credits to maintain your medical skills. However, education cannot be deducted if it is part of a study program that qualifies you for a new job or a new company. It is helping you stay competitive in the work you already do. If you have taken any lessons, you may be able to deduct tuition, laboratory fees, copying fees, consumables, textbooks, and registration fees. Medical educators, leadership courses, BLS / ACLS courses, and online courses that help guide your business may be deductibles. Plan Your Taxes Typically, the tax deduction for medical professionals is half their social security and Medicare taxes. Since independent contract doctors are self-employed, they are responsible for the entire amount. This is an additional 7.65% of income up to a salary of $ 132,900 and 1.45% of income above that limit. Estimate your taxes, including half of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and submit them in a timely manner. Employee Help You may not want to hire an expert. It can be difficult to justify the cost if you know that you can do it all by yourself. However, there are many advantages to having an assistant or assigning certain aspects of your side-event for physician independent contractor tax deductions. The cost of hiring virtual assistants, a freelancer or an employee for your company is likely to be classified as deductible business expenses. Business Travel The business traveling expenses contain transportation, accommodation, tips and 50% of meals. If you are required to travel for business purpose, such as, to attend an event or conference; your travel expenses may be deducted from your taxes. You must keep your hotel invoice where you stay, in order to use them as an expense to claim the tax deduction, but you do not have to keep receipts for payments that are less than 75 dollars. Just make certain to keep a record of how much you spent on your business trip. Office Supplies For supplies to be deductible, they must be regular in your profession and essential for your work. If your employer compensates you for the expenses, you cannot deduct them. Even if you only require expert advice seldom, you should bring your own equipment for this job. Do not do any part-time jobs in the office of your “day job”. All supplies and office space that you have for your business or performance can be used to claim deductions. This may include your answering machine, medical appointment services, medical equipment, office supplies, and even your bag. Marketing and Advertising If the success of your side-event depends on attracting customers, you will probably have to spend money on marketing your business and advertising your services. There is no need to pay taxes on related expenses. This includes
- Cost of developing and operating a website
- Social media advertising campaigns
- Promotional products and sponsorship
- Brochures and business cards
- Market research and product planning
Licenses and Certification This is a big deal for doctors. The cost of medical licenses and certifications can really add up because of state license fees for first licenses and renewals, especially if you need multiple state licenses or have more than one board certification. You will be charged fingerprint fee, maintaining the certification and exam fees plus the cost of sending transcripts and proofs. Memberships, Subscriptions, and Fees Being a member of an association, society, or other organization involved in your side-event is a great help in networking and making a name for yourself. But it can be expensive. Luckily, contributions and memberships are tax-deductible business expenses. Subscriptions to trade publications, relevant journals, and online communities are also allowed, as long as they are required for your secondary appearances. Professional Services Running a business – even if it’s a solo practice – has many moving parts. This is especially true for the heavily regulated healthcare sector. You may eventually need the services of other professionals to give advice or help you with various requirements. In many cases, such as hiring an accountant, lawyer or consultant are deductible benefits. Insurance If insurance is required for your work, these are business costs. For those who practice medicine as a side-gig, this means medical insurance for treatment errors. Others may require different types of professional liability insurance, such as error and omission insurance. On average doctors in the solo practice have only one or two issues per year in this category. However, if you run a business that ultimately hires employees, this spend basket becomes considerably larger. As with other occupations, tax deductions for medical professionals must comply with certain guidelines set by the IRS. The deductions you can make depend on whether you are self-employed, an employee, or both, and the costs are necessary to perform your job.