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Tax Deductions for Yoga Teachers: What Can You Write Off?

Tax Deductions for Yoga Teachers: What Can You Write Off?

Reading Time: 6 minutes 15 seconds


DATE: 2024-06-17

Being a yoga teacher comes with expenses. If you own a yoga business, your expenses will be higher. But you still have job-related costs if you work for a yoga studio or another fitness entity. Regardless of how much you spend to provide yoga instruction, finding ways to reduce your tax bill can keep more of your hard-earned income in your pocket versus sending it to Uncle Sam.

Importance of Working with a Tax Advisor

Tax laws change regularly. So do qualifying tax deductions. Working with a professional ensures that you’re writing off everything you can. This offers you maximum tax savings. Receiving tax advice can also prevent you from claiming an expense you shouldn’t. Trying to write off a non-qualifying expense can land you in hot water with the IRS or state tax office. A tax advisor can help.

If you don’t have a tax professional already, look for one with experience filing claims for fitness instructors. Each industry has its own tax nuances. The more familiar this professional is with income tax guidelines within the fitness industry, the greater their ability to provide you with relevant tax tips.

Ask other local yoga instructors who they use to file their annual tax return. Inquire whether they’re happy with their advisor. If they are, make an appointment with that person. You can also reach out to other local fitness providers. Talk to your personal trainer friends. Ask people in your network who offer health coaching. Is there someone they recommend who can help with your tax return?

Another option is to contact local tax professionals directly. Ask if they have experience working with people in a fitness instructor role. If you own a yoga studio, ask if they’ve ever worked with this type of business. Once you find an advisor with experience, go online and read their reviews. Do they have high ratings and a lot of positive comments? If so, consider using yourself them during tax season.

It should also be noted that, whoever you work with, you want to save all receipts for your expenses. This is critical if you ever face an audit. It also makes the advisor’s job easier when calculating your taxable income and eligible deductions.

Tax Deductions Differ Based on Your Yoga Instructor Status

The type of tax return you file impacts what you can and cannot deduct. In a post about tax tips for yoga teachers, Turbo Tax shares that this changes based on whether you are an independent contractor or an employee.

Independent Contractor

An independent contractor receives a 1099 form from any yoga studio or fitness center they teach for. You are not employed by these facilities but contract with them to provide a service. Therefore, you are essentially a one-person yoga business (also known as a sole proprietor). So, come tax season, you will file a Schedule C.

You can deduct “ordinary and necessary” business expenses as an independent contractor. These include: 

  • Home office expenses

  • Membership fees to professional organizations, such as Yoga Alliance

  • Liability insurance

  • Fees paid for professional services

  • Expenses related to purchasing music for classes 

  • Yoga training and certification expenses

  • CPR training and certification expenses

  • Continuing education costs

  • Apparel for teaching yoga classes


If you are an employee, there are still some things you can deduct. To deduct your expenses as an employed yoga teacher, you have to itemize your tax return. This requires filing a Schedule A. 

Turbo Tax warns that itemizing can raise your tax bill versus lowering it. With a Schedule A, you can also only deduct expenses over 2% of your adjusted gross income (compared to a 100% deduction with a Schedule C). And deduction is only allowed if you don’t receive reimbursement for the expense from your employer.

Yoga Studio Owner

If you own a yoga studio, you have varying tax structure options. You might file as an LLC, for instance, which stands for Limited Liability Corporation. You can also file as a corporation. Each type of business structure has its own tax rules. Since these rules are complex, working with a tax professional is highly advised. This professional can help you better understand what you can and cannot deduct.

Business-Related Tax Deductions for Yoga Teachers

As mentioned, you qualify for certain business expense deductions as an independent contractor. If you have a home office, you can write off a portion of your monthly home costs. Keep track of your yoga management software and office supply costs too. They may not be much, but you don’t want to miss any deductions.

You can also deduct costs associated with business insurance and professional membership fees. Don’t forget to keep track of the cost of your cell phone if you use it for business. You can write that expense off too.

Whether you purchase music for your classes outright or have a subscription to a music site, this may be deducted as well. Deductions are also allowed for aromatherapy, essential oils, and supplements purchased for your classes. 

Certification fees, training expenses, and continuing education courses are other business-related write-offs for yoga instructors. (We talk more about that below because there are exceptions.) You can also typically deduct the clothing you purchase to teach your classes in.

Deducting Fitness Equipment Expenses

A yoga teacher uses a few pieces of equipment. The most notable is a yoga mat. It doesn’t matter which style of yoga you teach, a mat can improve student comfort when doing certain poses. It can also keep their feet from slipping during postures, reducing the risk of injury. 

Many instructors also use blocks and cushions during class. These can make certain poses easier for students with limited flexibility. They can also maximize comfort. Are there yoga instructor tax deductions for equipment? Yes, because they are considered supplies necessary to the job. 

Are Vehicle Expenses a Tax Write-Off for Yoga Instructors?

The vehicle must be used for business purposes to qualify for any type of deduction. If you work at several different studios, for example, you can write off mileage to travel between them. You can also deduct costs if you use the vehicle to get to training and workshops.

What if you travel further away? Airfare, accommodations, and other costs of attending faraway training or retreats can typically be deducted. These all fall within the travel expense category.

Writing Off Yoga Teacher Insurance

Yoga insurance is a must. It protects you and your business from the costs of a hefty lawsuit. Liability insurance can help cover the costs of your defense if you’re ever sued. It also reduces the burden of a large payout. Even if you weren’t in the wrong, a court or jury may feel otherwise. Without insurance, their judgment is your sole responsibility.

When you’re self-employed, you can deduct liability insurance expenses. H&R Block indicates that self-employed persons can claim health insurance premiums as well. This includes Medicare premiums and qualifying long-term care coverage.

What About Education-Related Yoga Teacher Tax Deductions?

The IRS reports that work-related education expenses can only be deducted in certain scenarios. One that applies most to a yoga instructor is being self-employed. Others that may apply, depending on your situation, include being an Armed Forces reservist or acquiring impairment-related education expenses if you are disabled.

To qualify for this deductible expense, the education must:

  • maintain or improve the skills you need to do your work; or

  • be required by law or an employer to keep your salary, status, or job.

Education programs cannot be deducted if they are for a new trade or business. This expense also cannot be deducted if you need it to meet your current minimum education requirements. What does this mean in simple terms?

If you’re currently a yoga teacher, you should be able to write off the costs of your continuing education courses. Turbo Tax adds that yoga certification and training expenses are deductible if you’re an independent contractor. 

However, you cannot deduct yoga teacher training if you’re new to this role according to IRS rules. So, your first teacher training course may not be deductible. But any courses that you take once you’re already certified should be. (Again, a tax advisor can tell you whether you qualify for either type of tax deduction.)

Does this mean that you shouldn’t take teacher training if you can’t use it as a deduction? Not at all. Teacher training provides a foundational knowledge of yoga. It also gives you the skills needed to work as an instructor. Together, both can help you successfully build and grow your yoga business or brand. So, if you’ve not yet taken yoga teacher training, now is a good time. 

If you want to work for a yoga studio, teacher training may be required. Passing this type of course tells the studio owner that you know how to develop and deliver a safe yoga class. It reinforces that you aren’t just calling yourself a yoga teacher. You have the education to back you up.

Becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher

Check out ISSA Yoga & Wellness Academy’s Yoga Teacher Training Course. This 200-hour course is approved by the Yoga Alliance. It also provides the information needed to fully prepare you for the yoga instructor role. 

Featured Course

Yoga | Yoga 200 Product Page


  1. Expert, T. (2024, February 29). Tax tips for yoga teachers and instructors. TurboTax Tax Tips & Videos. https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/self-employment-taxes/tax-tips-for-yoga-teachers-and-instructors/L8gnAFb26

  2. Block, H. (2023, March 7). Self-Employed Health Insurance Deductions. H&R Block. https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/filing/adjustments-and-deductions/schedule-c-health-insurance-deductions/

  3. Topic no. 513, Work-related education expenses. (n.d.). Internal Revenue Service. https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc513

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