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instructors and taxes

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The last few years I've been doing my taxes like skiing (instructing) is like a hobby where you can "deduct" expenses only to the extent that you had income. As I did my taxes this year, I'm rethinking this. To the extent that equipment is not deductible because of the amount of personal use they get, I don't think I'm going to try to claim that part. As to the commute, No go either unless your ski school sends you to a different resort to work, etc.

But I began to realize that education, paid clinics, travel to them, lodging, and extra meals (other than breakfast and dinner) are all expenses to satisify my continuing education requirements as a "Pro". Dues, Books, and extra lessons I take in order to better my skiing so that I can teach better are all expenses that should stand up to the IRS guidelines.

Any Tax experts out there that can confirm this?

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Also Uniform cleaning and waterproofing costs, Un-reimbursed expenses (IE feeding a child in your care when they are hungry or trips to equipment shops to repair equipment needed to teach, teaching tools (edgie wedges) should also be deductible and don't fall into the 7% of AGI guidelines.

Am I headed the wrong way on this?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Exam fee's and Tickets not comp'ed at the exam location should also be deductable.
post #4 of 11
Here's an summary outlining deductible educational costs that I pulled from the IRS guidelines:

To be deductible, your expenses must be for education that:
  1. Maintains or improves skills required in your present job; or
  2. Serves a business purpose of your employer and is required by your employer, or by law or regulations, to keep your present salary, status, or job.
Your expenses are not deductible if the education is required to meet the minimum educational requirements of your job, or is part of a program of study that can lead to qualifying you in a new trade or business.

Although the education must relate to your present work, educational expenses incurred during temporary absence from your job may be deductible. However, after your temporary absence, you must return to the same kind of work. Usually, absence from work for one year or less is considered temporary.

Educational expenses include amounts spent for tuition, books, supplies, laboratory fees, and similar items. They also include the cost of research and typing when writing a paper as part of an educational program. Transportation and travel expenses to attend qualified educational activities may also be deductible. If you take a deduction for these educational expenses on your tax return, you cannot take other educational credits for these same expenses
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

That's what I saw too.

But skiing is a "secondary" job. and not my primary source of income. Does it still count?

That's the big rub..

post #6 of 11
My wife runs a small business and as such we have our taxes done. I sent the accountant a detailed list of expenses, clinics and PSIA dues, wear and tear (depreciation) of equipment, jacket costs etc.

He's a friendly and approachable sort and from what we can tell (he works the taxes for several friends businesses too), competent and honest.

Simply put, he would have to work and "fudge" his ass off to get even a few bucks back for me. I think it boiled down to the fact that his fees would cost more than the return.

This kind of pissed me off at first because one of the big "pitiches" at the ITC was that "your skiing is now a write off as a pro".

Please keep us informed as to how this plays out for you.
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by dchan
But skiing is a "secondary" job. and not my primary source of income. Does it still count?
I'm no tax expert but in my opinion it would. You certainly have to pay tax on the income associated with that second job, so educational expenses associated with that job are fair game in my opinion.
post #8 of 11
We talked about items deductible for ski instructors last year, and I agree with yuki to a certain extent, that by the time it's all said and done, some find it not worth the hassle.

That said, if it's deductible and I have the records on hand, I'd deduct it.
post #9 of 11
All my skiing income is reported on a W2, but it is the only W2 I get and it's pitifully small. That whole W2 is less than the threshold for deductibility of employee expenses. I think if I deduct more than that W2, I'd be risking an audit. If I limit my deductions to the amount of that W2, I'm probably still risking an audit, but I'm not getting much reduction on taxes.
If I a job that paid a significant salary reported on a W2, I might consider deducting my skiing expenses along with all my other employee expenses. I would definitely deduct every penny I spent skiing if I had a ski related business, like an pro rep or private coach, that I could report along with my other business income.
post #10 of 11
Go ask skier J! he is an expert.
It's interesting how similar oz and US tax regs are. If, for instance, you travel straight from one job to the other, you can claim travel costs. all consumables for ski teaching are deductible (or depreciable). for me it's easier: if ski teaching is your primary fulltiem year round job, everything is deductible. always, this column is greater than my income column, sadly. I've found a way to fiddle this. Work a few months in the public service in Oz, to pump up the income, but you can still claim everything. So you just hit poverty levels... bewdy.
post #11 of 11
Because of my many different enterprises I have no less than 7 schedule Cs.
Depending on how bold you are, remember it is legal if you go to a different ski area for the weekend and speak to the SSD about teaching there next season, that qualifies as "job exploration" or "job seeking". I never use my gear for personal skiing, only for job skill development.

Hire a very expensive and worth it CPA/Tax Atty, Keep accurate logs, records, receipts, diaries, etc. and you have nothing to worry about in an audit (except for the time lost). If you feel it isn't worth the paperwork, your choice. As long as the gov't feels a hammer is worth $500, I feel my time documenting every legal deduction is worth it.

What happens to a lot of part timers is the small amount of income with almost no withholding, brackets up their "real job" income to where they wind up owing if they cannot expense off that $2K ski instructor W-2 .
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