21 Tax Write-Offs for Independent Lifeguards

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Sun, sand, a surf — what could be better than hanging out at the beach or pool all day? How about saving money at tax time for the expenses you incur while spending all day by the water?

If you work as an independent contractor, you can write off any everyday business purchases you make to help you keep a watchful eye on swimmers. That also goes for any expenses you rack up showing other lifeguards the ropes.

There’s no need to blow a whistle — these write-offs are completely safe!

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Lifeguard uniform
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Swimsuits, T-shirts, and other uniform items required for the job are tax-deductible.

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Sunscreen & protection
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

You can write off items you use for sun protection on the job, like specialized hats and sunscreen.

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Medical supplies
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Medical supplies, like stethoscopes, PPE, and more, can be written off.

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Rescue equipment
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Write off the items and equipment you need to save someone, like rescue boards and tubes.

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CPR training
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Training programs to receive your CPR certification are considered write-offs.

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If you drive for work ...

If you use your car for business purposes, like to pick up supplies or attend lifeguard training courses, can claim car-related expenses on your taxes.

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Parking
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

Parking for a meeting downtown, or any other work trip, is tax-deductible!

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Tolls
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 27a

A toll while driving to or from a work destination is tax-deductible!

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Car purchase & depreciation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 13

If you buy a new car, you can write off part of the cost every year for five years.

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Vehicle tool kit
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 22

Flashlights, tire iron, duct tape, and other tools you may need in your vehicle are deductible.

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Car insurance & registration
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 15

Car insurance monthly fees, registration, even roadside assistance are partially deductible.

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Car maintenance
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 9

Oil changes, repairs, and regular checkups are all tax-deductible if you drive for work.

If you discuss work at a restaurant ...

Self-employed lifeguards can partially deduct the cost of going for food or drinks with fitness trainers, pool managers, fellow lifeguards, or other people if the goal is to generate business.

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Business meals
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24b

If you discuss work with a coworker, mentor, client, or prospective client, it's a write-off!

If you leave town for work ...

As long as they are "ordinary" and "necessary," like train tickets and hotel fees, you can deduct travel expenses when you go on out-of-town business trips. For example, to attend an industry conference or seminar.

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Transportation
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

Planes, trains, and car rentals are all work-related travel costs that can be written off.

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Travel lodging
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

When you travel for work, lodging expenses such as hotel rooms or Airbnb are write offs.

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Meals while traveling
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 24a

When you're traveling for work, all meals are tax-deductible. Even takeout!

If you work from home ...

If you regularly conduct business at a designated work area in your home, you can claim home office deductions. Some of the work you do from home might include:

  • Teaching (or attending) online lifeguarding courses
  • Conducting industry research
  • Managing client paperwork
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Home office furniture
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 18

A desk, chairs, lamps, and other home office necessities are all tax write-offs.

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Property repairs
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 21

You can write off up to $2,500 for individual repairs to your property.

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Power bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

Gotta keep the lights on in your home office! A portion of your electricity bill counts.

🌪️
Property insurance
Write it off using:

Form 8829

Whether it's rental or homeowners insurance, you can write off a portion through your home office deduction.

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Water bill
Write it off using:

Form 8829

It'd be hard to work in an office without running water, huh? You water bill counts.

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Wi-Fi bill
Write it off using:

Schedule C, Box 25

Your Comcast bill is a tax write-off. You need internet to do your job!