Being a per diem athletic trainer requires enough juggling with your full-time schedule, keeping athletes healthy, and communicating with parents or coaches.

And then tax season hits.

Don’t let it get you sidelined. Here are 7 things you need to know to get more deductions and keep more money in your pocket:

1. Track Everything:

Every penny counts, so record everything meticulously. This includes your income (check the finance section on your app!), expenses (travel, meals, medical supplies, certifications), mileage, and hours worked at each location.

Easily add your finance report (csv) to your doc where you keep track of supplies and mileage. 

2. Keep Work Expenses Separate:

Personal and business finances should be like rehabbing specific injuries–distinct and well-defined. Open a dedicated business bank account and/or credit card solely for work-related expenses. This simplifies tracking and saves you tax time woes.

3. Deduct Like a Pro, But Play by the Rules:

Maximize your deductions, but remember, the IRS is the referee. Focus on legitimate, documented expenses essential to your work as an athletic trainer. These could include:

  • Medical Essentials: Tape, braces, bandages, AED pads (consult a tax pro for specifics), and other job-specific supplies are potential deductions. Remember, “reasonable” is the key word.
  • Home Office: Have a dedicated space for finishing documentation or online learning? Claim a portion of rent, utilities, and internet as a deduction.
  • Professional Subscriptions: Medical journals, professional associations, and online resources directly related to your expertise can be deducted.
  • Travel & Meals: If the per diem provided doesn’t cover actual expenses, deduct reasonable meal costs and travel using the standard IRS mileage rate and per diem rules.
  • Continuing Ed & Licensure: CPR/AED certifications, relevant conferences, and courses required to maintain your license are investments in your future, and deductible!
4. Strains Become Tears if You’re Not Proactive:

Don’t wait for tax season surprises! Estimate your quarterly tax liability based on income and deductions, and make estimated payments to avoid penalties. Think of it as acclimatization for a smooth tax season.

5. Get a Tax Specialist:

This one can’t be understated. While the tips are great, there are experts (like you are an expert in your field!) at this. An experienced expert familiar with healthcare professionals and independent contractors can navigate the complexities, making sure you maximize deductions and minimize liability.

6. Invest in Your Future:

When you can, contribute to retirement savings plans like a solo 401(k) or SEP IRA. It reduces your taxable income now while preparing for your future–think of it as long-term injury prevention for your finances.

7. Use Your Network:

Knowledge is power, and sharing is caring! Connect with other per diem athletic trainers and healthcare professionals to swap tax tips, best practices, and even potential collaborations. Many shifts on Go4 will have you working with another AT who is in the same boat when it comes to taxes.

So, there you have it! With these tax tips in your kit, you can confidently  tackle tax season and keep more money in your pocket. Now get out there and protect those athletes physically and yourself financially. 

Remember: This is not personalized financial advice. Consult a qualified tax professional for guidance based on your specific income, expenses, and circumstances.

Go4 is classified as a Payment Settlement Entity, and Athletic Trainers hired through Go4 are 1099 contractors.
Following IRS rules for Payment Settlement Entities in 2023, Go4 will distribute 1099-K forms for Athletic Trainers who earned $20,000 or more and who had 200 or more transactions in the year. If you do not meet both of those criteria, you will not receive a 1099-K for work performed through the Go4 app.
A common request is for 1099-NEC forms, which must be issued for earnings of $600 or more. Go4 does not provide 1099-NEC forms due to our business classification.
If you have further questions, you should seek guidance from your accountant or tax preparer

Need a template to help track your expenses? We’ve got you!