Most of us started our careers as therapists with a dream and a plan. We would finish school, get a full time job that came with a great boss and with benefits and start to make a positive difference to our patients and practice all that we had learned. Sound familiar?
Now fast forward – a few days, weeks, months or (ahem, years) ahead. Life often gets in the way of full time work. Sometimes the challenge comes from finding the right company and right job, sometimes there are layoffs and other times we just want a change. That change can come from becoming an Independent Contract Therapist. Most of us know the advantages of being an employee but here are some great reasons to consider becoming an IC.
1. Earn More Money
Independent Contract Therapists typically earn a higher per hour rate than employees. Why? Because companies are willing to pay more for independent contractors since they don’t have to enter into expensive, long-term commitments or pay taxes.
The #1 fear that we hear at ITA from therapists considering work as Independent Contractors is the fear of taxes. But just like everything else in life, it's just a matter of understanding the process.. you can actually save yourself a ton of money.
2. Deduct Expenses
The #1 fear that we at ITA always hear from therapists is the fear of dealing with taxes. But, just like everything else in life, it’s just a matter of learning the process. Being an independent contract therapist offers an opportunity for you to save money, even more so than when you are in an employment position, through deductions. Sadly, every year, contractors lose thousands of dollars by not maximizing their deductions simply because they are not aware of the opportunities and deductions that an IC can benefit from. Here is a short list of what you can deduct as an Independent Contractor:
You can choose to deduct either actual car expenses including gas and maintenance or a standard amount for every mile driven for work. If you lease your car, these expenses can also be deducted.
Health Insurance Premiums & Medical Costs
If you are not eligible under another plan, your health insurance payments and medical costs can all be deducted.
Home Office Deduction
If you have a home office, you can calculate the square footage of space you use and deduct this as a business expense. This applies not only to the square footage, but also to your utilities.
If you buy supplies (and who doesn't at least need copy paper!), buy equipment or supplies for patients (think theraband!), or even things such as a computer or new phone for work, these can all be deducted as business expense.
Cell Phone Costs
That new phone you just bought? If you use it for work, even only part of the time, you can deduct that portion of your monthly fees.
Professional liability insurance will most likely be required by any employer. The cost to maintain coverage is deductible.
Repairs & Maintenance
Did you repaint your office? Fix your computer? Buy new tires? Items such as these can also be deducted.
Taxes & Licenses
Your small business license/business tax receipt, cost for your incorporation (if any) and even your professional license fees to the State can all be deducted. Oh, and this also includes the cost for continuing education to maintain your license.
Legal & Professional Fees
If you pay fees for legal services, tax preparation, or any payment to a licensed professional (that includes the painter for your office) to help with your business, these can all be deducted.
Burn out is real and scary. It can come not only from work but because most of us are juggling lots of responsibilities including work, kid schedules, caretaking or fill in the blank with whatever you have on your plate right now. As an independent contract therapist, you are in charge of choosing your work hours and work location. So, if you need to be free at 3:00 to pick up those kiddos, as an Independent Contractor, you can make that happen.
4. Try New Things
Maybe you’ve been a pediatric therapist for years but have always wanted to try work in the geriatric field. Or perhaps you have an interest in a specialty area or certification that you want to explore. Work as an independent contractor is the way to do it. You can work in multiple settings to give you a chance to explore new options without the commitment of a full-time job. This helps you gain experience and further advance your career.
5. Be Your Own Boss
This is perhaps the most rewarding part of being an Independent Contract Therapist. According to a recent study, more than half of Americans want to “Be Their Own Boss”. This doesn’t have to mean a brick and mortar practice and starting an expensive business but can simply mean making the choice to work as an Independent Contract Therapist. By definition, legally and in practice, this puts you in charge. So…. What are you waiting for?
The Independent Therapist Alliance provides tools and resources to therapists who work as an independent contractors. In addition to our member area and CEU courses which provide a ton of great information, our team is available to help you every step of the way.
Join Us today and succeed at the business of rehab.