Podcast

Episode 395

Jan 7, 2022

Listen to Michael and Allissa discuss giving a client a W9.

Listen to "E395: Should I Give This Client a W9?" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 395

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

Quick Tips

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Transcript: 

Sponsor message: 

ABMP is proud to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint podcast. And we are delighted to have them. One of the many benefits of ABMP membership is ABMP Five Minute Muscles and ABMP Pocket Pathology. These are quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information that you need to make a decision about your massage session planning. The Five Minute Muscles includes muscle specific technique and palpation videos for the 83 muscles most commonly addressed by professional massage therapists. And ABMP Pocket Pathology can help you sort out contraindications before any treatment. These apps are included with ABMP membership and you can and go to abpm.com/apps to access them and non-members can sample demos as well. Again, that's abpm.com/apps.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and at the same time improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And we're your hosts. Hey, welcome. We're glad you're here in this...

Allissa Haines:

We are glad everyone's here.

Michael Reynolds:

2022 season.

Allissa Haines:

Isn't it?

Michael Reynolds:

Of life.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. How are your three words going so far, Michael? This is an unexpected banter. Sorry, everybody.

Michael Reynolds:

Unexpected banter alert. Fast forward 60 seconds. Pretty well so far. Deep, level, and fortify are my words as we shared last week and the year is still pretty early. But yeah, so far feeling good. I feel like I'm focused enough to honor my three words effectively, so far. How about you?

Allissa Haines:

Okay. Not fantastic, but okay. I made a page in my 2022 bullet journal to track each day. And I put a little block each day for my three things that I'm working on; my body, my brain, and my business. And I'm just making a little check mark when I actually tackle that particular thing on any given day. So, so far I have managed to work on my business every single day and my brain twice, two days. I've done nothing with my body, but I've been in quarantine because I had a little head cold and we weren't sure if it was a head cold. And then one of the kids was in quarantine after a positive exposure at gymnastics. So I'm giving, and also it's been terrible weather here. So I'm giving myself a break on not accomplishing any of my fitness body stuff goals for the past five days, but...

Michael Reynolds:

Totally fair.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. But I feel really good about it. So I'm going to check in intermittently on that.

Michael Reynolds:

I like it.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow, that was off track. So Michael, what are you reading?

Michael Reynolds:

I am reading about masks, specifically there's an article I linked in our show notes from a Scientific American called, Why We Need to Upgrade Our Face masks and Where to Get Them. And I was really kind of digging into this because I still see people wearing cloth masks and obviously it's better than nothing, but I think for a while we've known that cloth masks aren't as effective as other types, specifically surgical masks and even better the N95/KN95 masks. And so this is an article I found when I was doing some research and it was pretty good.

Michael Reynolds:

And also one part of it I really enjoyed, which was there was, Aaron Collins is a guy that called himself, The Mask Nerd. He's a mechanical engineer at Seagate Technology who makes hard drives in addition to other things. And they have, obviously aerosol science is a big part of that. And in his free time he makes these YouTube videos where he tests and reviews different masks by different manufacturers. And he's basically set up a lab in his bathroom.

Allissa Haines:

I love this guy.

Michael Reynolds:

You've seen the guy? Yeah. I'm sure because he's got a...

Allissa Haines:

I follow him on Twitter.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. So he goes through all this stuff testing different mask types and everything and kind of gives feedback on how different masks are effective. And so I was really intrigued by that. So I need to go find his videos because it sounds really delightful. As delightful as we can be during a pandemic, obviously. I shouldn't probably say delightful, but it's an interesting kind of thing he does though. So anyway, I was just kind of reading about it and after doing some more research and recently learning about the different mask types, I've ordered some KN95 masks for our family and we'll start wearing those instead of the surgical masks after we use those up because I think we just need to upgrade our masking in general as a society these days. So that's what I've been reading about.

Allissa Haines:

I'm just going to make a suggestion that you don't wait until you use up your surgical masks. Just save your surgical masks for head colds and stuff around the house and out and about. When we're through this pandemic start using your N95's right away.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. I just hate to waste them, but I guess that makes a good point.

Allissa Haines:

You're not wasting them. You're saving them for a lighter purpose.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. That makes sense.

Allissa Haines:

Right now is the high danger time, anyhow.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, that's fair.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I love that guy. And because of him I found an N95 that fits me beautifully. It's a 3M, I forget the code on it, and I was able to get some before Christmas. And it is a game changer. It fits around my nose properly. It's got like a little like cushion there. So it is the only mask I've ever worn that truly doesn't fog up my glasses and seals really well to my face. And I'm so much less terrified about going back to work now. And they just fit really good and it fits the wallet really good too. Anyhow., Mask Nerd.

Michael Reynolds:

I have a dumb question for you.

Allissa Haines:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

Michael Reynolds:

Okay, here's my dumb questions. So in the past, my understanding, which may be wrong, my understanding was that N95 masks were designed to protect the wearer, but they did not necessarily protect those around them from expelling material. Was that true at the time, and is that still true now?

Allissa Haines:

I don't know if it was true at the time, but it's not true now. This is the one that's being recommended by every quality resource I've seen. So I think...

Michael Reynolds:

That's what I thought.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I think that there was some weird stuff going around earlier on.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

But I'm going to double check on that. But this was recommended by the Mask Nerd, so I'm not going to feel weird about it.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

I'm just going to trust the guy.

Michael Reynolds:

At the same time, the N95 masks are designed to protect not only those around, but also the person wearing the mask as well as possible, correct?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, I think so.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. Because basically my question stems from this, because in the past I've thought, hey, you wear a surgical mask, for example, and yeah, it provides some protection for you but it really is designed to provide protection from you expelling the virus to those around you. That's really where it's effective. And that was my understanding. So I'm kind of curious how N95 masks are different or not different.

Allissa Haines:

I think because they seal very tightly on your face, nothing's getting in or out.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

Like air's in or out.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

That's my guess. I don't know. Not authority. I could have screwed that up. Anyhow. You want to hear what I've been reading?

Michael Reynolds:

I would like to hear what you've been reading, hopefully something lovely and light.

Allissa Haines:

No.

Michael Reynolds:

No, okay.

Allissa Haines:

Not even a little.

Michael Reynolds:

All right.

Allissa Haines:

I read a great Memoir called, Crying in H Mart and it's written by Michelle Zauner. And it came out in 2018, but I finally just got to it. But it's a lovely story. A woman who, a Korean mom and an American dad, and telling the story of her mom dying of cancer and caring for her, but through the lens of food culture in her family. And H Mart is like an Asian food market. They're all over the country. And yeah, there's the recipes, not really even the recipes, but the discussion of food as part of her family culture and how it has helped tie her to her mother's memory. And then spending time with aunts in Korea. And it was a lovely story. I think I cried twice. But it was... It took me a couple chapters to get into it because it starts off just like food culture stuff. And then it gets into the story of her mom and it's very interesting, and really lovely, and beautifully written. So Crying in H Mark everyone.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

I know I probably didn't sell it very well there, but it was just a lovely book.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. With that...

Allissa Haines:

I know. I'll be checking around next time.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm actually on the article now looking at it I'm like, okay. I'm not sure I'm ready for this much emotion right now. Let's move on to our first sponsor, which is Jojoba

Allissa Haines:

Jojoba. Thank you Jojoba for being our longest and most consistent sponsor, and for keeping us around in 2022. You all know how deeply I feel about using high quality products, because we're soaking our hands in them. And they're going on clients for an hour of their lives every couple of weeks or month, but we're in there for 15, 20 hours a week with our hands soaking in this lubricant. So I love Jojoba. I like a Jojoba because it's non-comedogenic and it won't clog pores. Not neither mine nor my clients. It won't go Rand so that big old jug I had on the shelf unused for a year didn't get gross.

Allissa Haines:

It's really good with hot stones. It won't stay in your cotton sheets. The Jojoba company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality Jojoba. And I just love them. You and your friends can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. And definitely go to the website and get on their email list because they've been offering really wonderful email promotions. And the new website, it's not new anymore, I guess, but I love the website. Their blog is just packed full of resources. Go get 20% off at massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

It's really good. What I love about Jojoba is they know how to business too. Their product is great, but they also like they're good at business. They have a great website, great customer service, just great people overall, just like I admire people...

Allissa Haines:

They're communicative. They've never ghosted us.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. I admire people that are good at business.

Allissa Haines:

I really do.

Michael Reynolds:

I just wanted to say that.

Allissa Haines:

And we actually get to spend time with Brian, the president over there a couple, or I think just once in person, but we just love him.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Okay.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Cool. We're talking about some W-9s today.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, man. It's going to be like short and sweet.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

And for real, I know sometimes I say that and it's not, but it really is. We got a wonderful email question from a listener, a reader, a while back that said, I have a client who is a professional athlete or dancer who is asking for a W-9 so they can claim massage as a business expense. Should I do this? So let's say what a W-9 is first. A W-9 is the form that someone providing a service or product might fill out for someone who is buying that service or product. So if I go to do a share massage shop at a local college, they're going to say, can you give us a W-9? And it's got all my info, including a tax ID number, which might be my social, or might be my business' tax ID number.

Allissa Haines:

And I give it to them. And then they use that information to pay me, but also to then file with the federal, with the IRS, and also send a copy to me at the end of a tax year, a 1099 that says how much money they paid me as an independent contractor in any given year. And if you do more than $600 of work or sales with somebody, then they need to 1099 you. If you're just like a contractor who operates your business as a sole proprietor, or you're an LLC but you file your taxes with the Schedule C, you need to be 1099. If you are filing your taxes as a corporation, or you're like as an S Corp, or you're incorporated, you don't need to deal with 1090s. So did that make any sense? If all of that was super foreign to you just email me and I'll send you more resources on that.

Allissa Haines:

So this massage therapist who emailed us, operates his business as a sole proprietor filing a Schedule C. So it is appropriate for someone who pays him for more than $600 of services to 1099 him. And that is a way of keeping a tax record. So the question here was like this professional dancer wants to claim massage as a business expense, and they need to deal with the 1099 and such to do that. Should this massage therapist give them that tax information? So there's two parts to this. One, it's a super gray area. And some tax preparers will say that it's cool to claim massage as a deduction if it's helping your body, and your body is your work like a professional athlete or dancer. Some tax preparers will be like, no, that's not a viable or legitimate deduction. It is not reasonable and customary for your field. But either way, what someone else claims on their taxes is not really any of my business. And whether it's their tax repairer says they can do it or not, not my issue.

Allissa Haines:

And for that person who's filing and claiming that deduction, it really becomes an issue if they get audited. And if they get audited, that particular auditor is going to make the decision if that deduction is reasonable and customary. So that's why we have so discrepancy among professionals and tax preparers about what is an allowed deduction and what isn't. And not just in this particular area of massage in every area of deductions for small businesses, really. So whether or not they're allowed to claim massage as a deduction, I don't care. Nonissue for those reasons. The next note here is there's no harm to me as a massage practice, as a massage practitioner, providing a W-9 to anyone who asks for it, like their tax preparer is then going to issue a 1099 to me at the end of the year, which is a little form that says how much they paid me.

Allissa Haines:

That number, that amount, that gross income that they paid me is already calculated into all of my other gross income numbers. So as long as I remember to not count that income twice, as long as I remember to say to my tax preparer like, hey, I got this 1099, but that money is already included in the gross numbers I gave you. They'll be like, okay, great. There's no harm in getting 1099 from someone, because ideally you're a legitimate legal practitioner and you're claiming all of your income. And that's what this is. This is a protection so that the IRS knows when you've been given a certain amount of money, $600 or more by any given client in a calendar year, it's telling the IRS, hey, this contractor made money. Because typically when you have a regular job, your boss does that via payroll deductions and stuff.

Allissa Haines:

So this is how they keep an eye on contractors to make sure they're not hiding income. So there's no harm in saying, okay, and giving this client a W-9 and then receiving a 1099 that says, this client paid me this many dollars in 2021. So there's that. The last little caveat to this is that if you operate as a sole proprietor and you're using a Schedule C to file all your taxes as you do as a sole proprietor, you are filing all of your taxes under your Social Security Number. Do you really want to give your Social Security Number to some random client? You kind of don't because identity theft is such a thing and your Social Security Number is so important. And it's a nightmare to deal with if that gets, if your identity gets stolen and your Social Security Number is part of that.

Allissa Haines:

So if you operate as a sole proprietor and you do not want to be giving out your Social Security Number, you can totally get a Tax ID number. And it's also called an employee ID number. Don't let that throw you off. Just get over the word employee, just take it. You can do this instantly, and at no cost online with the IRS. You fill out a little form and they instantly send... They, I think the confirmation screen shows it to you and then I think they email it to you. They say, use this Tax ID number in place of your social. And then you can use that number on your W-9 or any other form where you need to identify, like you need to give them your tax identity. You can give them that number because that's a hell of a lot easier to deal with changing that number or dealing with that identity being stolen versus your actual social being stolen.

Allissa Haines:

So that's it. I do want to emphasize it is free to get a Tax ID number with the IRS. If you just like Google it, you're going to find a whole bunch of private little scam websites that are going to try to charge you a couple hundred dollars for this. And then they go and fill out the form at the IRS themselves. Don't do that. Go right to irs.gov. I have the exact link to that in the show notes, but you can also just go to irs.gov and in the little search field, you can just search for Tax ID number and you'll come up with everything you need. They give you like a little quiz to make sure you're eligible and you actually need it.

Allissa Haines:

And as Michael has graciously put into the show notes, just now as I was talking, we actually did a podcast episode, episode 360 saying, do I need an EIN? Do I need a Tax ID number or employee ID number? He's got the link to the show notes in there, or the link to that episode in the show notes. That is my whole stick. You know how I love to start off the new year with a bang and some tax talk. And that's my rant. There's no harm in giving somebody a W-9. Get yourself a tax ID number or EIN to do that. I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

The more I learn about our system of taxation in this country, the more I realize is basic a pile of spaghetti. It's just the way it works just fascinates me. It's like, you'd think there would be some centralized database to track all this stuff better, but it's so much of it is just on the honor system. And just, what can you get away with when you get audited? It's so weird when you think about it.

Allissa Haines:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

But is it what it is.

Allissa Haines:

But also like, the IRS has never, they don't give us enough specificity in the rules.

Michael Reynolds:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Allissa Haines:

If they could just say, no, a massage therapist may not claim manicures as part of a business expense. No, a professional athlete may not count massage therapy as a business expense, or yes. But they don't tell us because there's so many contingencies and it's so vague. And then you get a random auditor who may or may not decide what can happen.

Michael Reynolds:

That's why I generally err on the side of being conservative.

Allissa Haines:

I do too.

Michael Reynolds:

Trying not to get away with stuff.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I'm the same way, because I'm... I don't want to say I'm terrified of an audit, but I'm absolutely terrified of an audit. And if they just determine that you deducted something you couldn't, not only do you have to pay back that amount but any taxes, any interest and fees on the amount of income that you should have been paying taxes on. So it can be a lot of money, especially because they can go back and audit what's seven years back. So if I have to pay seven years worth of interest and fees on whatever, $1,000 that I didn't claim it can be a nightmare.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. It's really worth saving a few bucks. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. Especially when you consider like for $1,000 on paying state and federal income tax on that, it's not that much. You're like, calm down.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Thanks. Really good stuff. Really informative.

Allissa Haines:

What's our next sponsor, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Hey, it's us.

Allissa Haines:

It is us. We just put out a new, fresh spanking beautiful ebook for you, Marketing With Personality. We all know that marketing is most effective and also way left life sucking when your business and your marketing is an actual reflection of who you are as a human being and not just some dodgy business owner in a polo shirt and khakis. No offense to people who wear polo shirts and khakis. We have a lovely 16-paint guide, 16-page guide, pardon me. That will help you learn to build on your strength and grow a clientele that you can actually connect with and enjoy. You can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/personality to get that free ebook download. Yeah. Michael, we also have a webcast coming up about this. Do you want to tell people how to get that information?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, we do. Let's see. Let me grab the site so I can give you the exact information. So we have a webcast that goes with it. It is, standby as I go to the events on our website, I believe January 19th. Yes, it is. January 19th, 7:00 PM Eastern. So if you go to massagebusinessblueprint.com, obviously you'll have to be listening to this podcast before January 19th, but you go to our website, click on events in the menu. And if it's before January 19th, you should see it there. You can click on register again. January 19th, 2022 7:00 PM Eastern.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks Michael. I had to surprise you with that. Sorry.

Michael Reynolds:

That's fine. Hopefully, I rose to the challenge.

Allissa Haines:

We live on the edge here.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

All right. That's all I got. I think that this is a... Wait. yeah. That's our... Wait, I've lost my podcast notes. My God.

Michael Reynolds:

That was us. Yeah, I think you got it. You nailed it.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. And what about quick tips, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

What are we doing here? How do I podcast?

Allissa Haines:

Okay, listen. I have been sick for five, six days. I'm just started feeling better yesterday so I'm sorry. Doing the best I can here.

Michael Reynolds:

You know what? It's episode 395. For the new comers, yeah. This is us. For the people that have been with us a long time they know what they're getting, so I think we're good. All right. Quick tip time. So let's see. What have I got today? So I've got this blog post tip that I thought was really interesting. I think it'll be useful for those who are blogging in their massage practice or are interested in blogging. Which I think is great. Blogging's been around for a while and it's been a little bit overshadowed by shinier things, like some of the social media stuff and podcasting, and video and everything.

Michael Reynolds:

But blogging is still very useful. It's still very effective. A lot of people prefer to read versus watch stuff. It's really good for search engine optimization, getting found on Google. It's really useful for your audience. So blogging is still a really great way to educate and communicate with your audience and potentially get new clients. So as many people know, I also own a financial advisory practice. I'm an independent financial advisor, and I'm in a community over in that world. And in that world, there's a guy named Michael Kitces, who is kind of the Alyssa of the independent financial advisory world.

Michael Reynolds:

You're welcome. And I say that because he is extremely prolific, he writes these massive blog posts, just tons of content. Just basically the authority on writing content and producing information for independent financial advisors. He's kind of just sought after as this guy that is always producing great stuff. So he has this formula for writing blog posts that he has shared and it's called, the 3x3x3 format. And he's like, hey, if you ever get stuck, like if you feel like you can't figure out how to write or how to start your article, or you just feel like you're stuck, the 3x3x3 format is the formula you can use to kind of get the ball rolling. And the formula is this. First of all, you identify three key points that you want to communicate.

Michael Reynolds:

So three overarching key points in this topic you want to write about, then within each key point, identify three key concepts associated it with each point. And that kind of goes underneath each particular point. So three key points, three key concepts supporting each point. And then finally to wrap things up, you create a paragraph which is three sentences to summarize each concept overall, and slap a quick intro sentence at the beginning, and you've got a blog post. So the 3x3x3 strategies a really nice kind of formula to fit into if you're like, I'm stuck. How do I do this?

Michael Reynolds:

Break it down; three concepts, three key points underneath each. I'm sorry. Three key points, three concepts associated each point, and then wrap it up. So I found it really interesting. I put a link to his article describing this formula in the show notes, if you want to check it out. So it's very financial advisory specific. So just kind of look past that and apply it to your massage practice. And I found it really useful.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I'm trying to do a lot more writing and a lot better writing. I'm trying to improve my writing skills. And this is a really neat approach. I think I will try it with something I've got on my to-do list to write for next week. Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I did not know how to do it.

Michael Reynolds:

Also, his blog is called Nerd's Eye View, which I just think is just lovely.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I went to the link expecting to see someone who accidentally swears a lot and stuff, but because you said he's the main, but I still... I don't see any accidental swears, but it looks because I like this a lot. And he actually has a little note about creating an editorial content calendar, which is a little more than I'm ready to do today. But it's a good reminder that when you have a loose plan, when you're like, okay, the first week of the month I'm going to write about a self-care, and the second week of the month I'm going to write about, or you can do videos. It doesn't have to be writing. All these tips apply to videos too. And the second I'm going to talk about how massage can help a particular pathology or whatever. It can help to have a very loose plan because then when you sit down, you're not like, I don't know what to talk about. So, yeah. Thanks for that. I don't have a quick tip this week.

Michael Reynolds:

That's right. No worries.

Allissa Haines:

Take us home.

Michael Reynolds:

I think we're good. All right. Thanks everyone for joining us today. As always, you can find us on the interwebs at massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you're a new listener, thank you and welcome. And I would advise going there to learn more about us. And if you're not a member of Blueprint Mastermind, which is our super smart private community for super smart massage therapists like you, you can find more information about that on the website as well. You can join free for 30 days to try it out. See if you like us. Stick around if you do, and you can also email us if you have questions at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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