Cosmetologists either rent booths in salons to work as sole proprietors or work as employees of barbershops and beauty parlors. There are a number of expenses involved in keeping up with the trade for both employees and business owners. In either case, there are several cosmetologist tax deductions and credits the Internal Revenue Service recognizes. Barbers and beauticians save on taxes with several business tax credits. Some cosmetologist write-offs are obvious, but others may surprise you.
Rent, Insurance and Licensing
The rent you pay to maintain your place of business is tax-deductible, whether you're a shop owner who pays rent to keep a business property or you're a stylist renting a booth. You may also take business tax deductions for your liability insurance and the insurance you take out on employees. You are required to maintain a cosmetology license and a business license. The costs of both of these are tax-deductible as well.
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You may deduct the cost of travel to hair shows, product demonstrations and other business-related events. You may also claim cosmetologist write-offs for lodging and meals. The IRS extends a tax credit for business use of your car if you drive to such events. Keep track of all miles used for business activities and use the standard mileage method of claiming vehicle expenses to receive a 51-cent per mile tax credit in 2011.
You may spend more money on supplies to maintain your business in an average year than anything else. Your supplies include all of the tools used for cutting and styling hair and nails. You can claim cosmetologist tax deductions for all the shampoo, conditioner and other styling products you use on customers. You may also claim the purchase of towels, hair dryers, brooms, vacuum cleaners and cleaning supplies to keep your workplace clean.
You may claim all expenses for your office and clerical supplies, including business cards, stamps and envelopes, fliers, appointment setters, and pens. You may also deduct the cosmetology magazines and hairstyle picture books you purchase for your use or your customers. You can deduct the interest on a loan you took out to start the business, and any services you pay for to maintain the operation, such as linen service and landscaping.