Ongoing Learning for Medical Transcriptionists

If you’re like most medical transcriptionists, you’ll have to pay for ongoing training out of your own pocket. If you’re working as an employee rather than as an independent contractor, hitting up your employer for a subsidy is always worth a shot. When you ask, be sure to specify how the fact that you’re taking the course will benefit your employer.

Once you get some experience under your belt, there’s another option: Trade. If you make a presentation or volunteer your time to set up, clean up, or help manage a seminar or conference, you often can attend the event for free.

If you do have to foot the bill yourself, you may be able to recoup some of your expenses by taking advantage of tax breaks. Your options are tied to your employment status:

  • Employee: If you itemize deductions on your federal tax return, you may be able to claim a deduction for qualifying work-related education expenses on Schedule A. If the training involves an overnight stay away from home, you can most likely deduct part of your travel, meals, and lodging expenses too.

  • Independent contractor: As a self-employed person, you can deduct qualifying education-related expenses directly from your income, just as you would any other business expense. This will feed through your Schedule C along with virtually everything else.

Check IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education,” for the what and how of deducting work-related education expenses. (Look for the section titled “Business Deduction for Work-Related Education.”) If you hire a professional to do your taxes, be sure to tell him about your education expenditures — he’ll know which forms to use.

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