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Whether you are a new massage therapist or have had a practice of your own for many years, the need for a complete, timely record keeping is mandatory. Learn the benefits of an accounting system, including preparation of accurate income tax returns and managing information to more successfully run your massage therapy business.

This course covers the basics. For additional information, take advantage of the resources at Specific references for a number of topics are included at the end of this course.

Note: For purposes of this article, it is assumed that the practitioner is a Sole Proprietor or Single Member LLC filing on IRS Form 1040, Schedule C. In most cases, unless otherwise noted, the information provided would also apply to other entities (i.e., S Corporations) but the form to file and the line numbers would be different. See Lesson 2 for more on this topic.

This course has not been approved in the state of Mississippi.

This course was updated in 2017 and is meant to provide a general overview of taxes for massage therapists. It does not offer personalized tax, legal, or other business or professional advice.

Always consult a tax professional to determine your situation and if the new 2018 tax law changes impact you. For additional tax information, take advantage of the resources at

This course was edited by Constance D. Nwosu, CPA who is the founder and principal of CN Accounting & Management Consulting LLC.


When you finish this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the different types of business entities.
  • Describe the Internal Revenue Service auditing process.
  • Discuss discounts, traded services, deductions, expenses. 
  • Identify ways to use accounting and tax preparation software.
  • Delineate the differences between contractors and employees.

About the author(s)

Margo Bowman has been a practicing accountant for over 50 years, specializing in small business taxation and Record Keeping. She is a licensed tax consultant (LTC) and has earned the enrolled agent (EA) designation which allows her to practice before the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of her client base. In addition to taxation and accounting credentials, Margo is also a licensed massage therapist (LMT), giving her a unique insight into the needs of the massage therapy profession. 

Course Expiration

Please note that you must complete each AMTA online learning course and pass the exam one year from the date of purchase. If you do not complete the course and pass the exam within one year, you will be required to re-purchase the course.

Online courses expire one year from the date of purchase. When a course expires, you will no longer have access to the course materials and will be required to re-purchase the course.

Course Approval Codes



This course contains information that is proprietary. None of the material contained within this course may be used without the express written permission of AMTA unless otherwise indicated in the course. As a reminder, before practicing any new modalities or techniques, check with your state’s massage therapy regulatory authority to ensure they are within the state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy.


Online courses are non-refundable. AMTA will not cover fees incurred from duplicate payments, insufficient funds, stopped payments or credit/debit cards over credit limits.