Tax Return for Personal Trainer

If you love keeping fit and healthy, and you want to share all the knowledge you’ve gained with other people, a career as a freelance personal trainer could be perfect for you.

What does a personal trainer actually do?

As a freelance personal trainer, you’d talk to your clients to find out how fit and healthy they are so you can help them to become even more fit and healthy. You’ll have to tailor your service to each client’s particular needs, and then you’ll:

  • Organise a fitness programme based on realistic short-term and long-term goals.
  • Give them advice on nutrition, exercise, and general lifestyle.
  • Teach the client how to safely and effectively follow the programme you’ve set out.
  • Answer any questions a client might have on fitness and health.
  • Check their progress to see how their levels of fitness and health are improving.
  • Make changes to the programme as required.

What skills and qualities does a freelance personal trainer need?

To become a personal trainer, you’ll need to be the sort of person who:

  • Is enthusiastic about health and fitness.
  • Has the ability to motivate clients, and patience when they aren’t making as much progress as you’d like.
  • Respects the health and safety of other people.
  • Has knowledge of anatomy, physiology, diets, and nutrition.
  • Is good at talking to people, and explaining ideas clearly.
  • Is discrete, which is important when dealing with people’s health.
  • Has a little knowledge of psychology, so you know how people think, and so are better at motivating them.

How do you become a personal trainer?

You’ll be dealing with people’s health and fitness, so personal training isn’t something you can just jump into on a whim. You’ll need to have lots of experience as a fitness instructor, as well as having relevant and recognised qualifications.

Qualifications needed to be a personal trainer

Here are a few examples of qualifications which will allow you to be a personal trainer:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction
  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness.
  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym.

Once you obtain a relevant qualification and become a fitness instructor, taking one of the following qualifications will take you a step closer to a career as a personal trainer:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training.

Check out your local colleges to see which of these, or similar, courses they run.

How to find work as a freelance personal trainer

You may find that as you gain more experience in a gym as a fitness instructor, you’ll eventually be promoted to personal trainer. If, however, you wish to work as a freelance personal trainer, you’ll likely earn more
money, but in the early days you’ll be spending much of your time and effort marketing your services to find new clients.
Here are a few ways to market yourself:

  • Set up a website: Having a professional website will make you look more credible, and is a great place to talk about the services you provide, and your prices and contact details.
  • Business cards: Hand them out to family and friends, as well as people you think could potentially need your services.
  • Join a professional organisation: Becoming a member of an organisation that represents fitness professionals will give you a way to prove your credentials as a personal trainer. Two examples are the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and the National Register of Personal Trainers.
  • Social Networking: Social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a great opportunity to make new contacts and talk about what you do. You could, for example, use it to give some free health and fitness advice to show that you’re a fitness expert.

Keeping your clients safe

To work as a personal trainer, you need to have Public Liability Insurance, and be trained in first aid, including CPR.

Accounting as a freelance personal trainer

There are various benefits to freelancing as a personal trainer, from the freedom and flexibility to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay. But there is one downside – accounting. As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care of on your behalf in the form of PAYE. As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of each business year. Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from helping your clients improve their health and fitness.

Getting tax and accountancy advice

With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll orget about you until the next year. But for your business to be run smoothly and successfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year, especially in the early days.

Citi Accounts is different

Citi Accounts provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just for freelancers. Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and accountancy advice you might need, including things like:

  • Take-home pay
  • Which VAT scheme to register for
  • Expenses
  • Tax allowances
  • Choosing between sole trader and limited company
  • Running your business in a tax-efficient way

We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many other accountants.