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Making money legally after taking a course
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 10:52 am
I am going to be taking an 8 hr course next week to be certified in mental health first aid. This will allow me to recognize and help individuals suffering from any sort of mental illness or drug addiction. What I would like to then do is start charging people a small fee for my help, however, I want to do it legally. My husband told me that he'll create a quick books account for me, where I can document any money I make, as well as print receipts for the people I charge. Then, come tax time, I would document everything I made in the taxes, which would make any money I earned legal. I just want to know if there is anything else I should know about this so that everything I'm doing is legal. I'm a little nervous about doing something wrong and then possibly getting into trouble. Thanks
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out-of-towner




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 10:59 am
I don't think this is a matter of on the books versus off the books, I think it's a matter of what the rules of your certification allow, and typically with these types of things there are guidelines set by the ones who are in charge of the certification.
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amother




Indigo


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:00 am
Speak to your accountant.

I don’t get it why people ask random imamothers questions like this. Our CPA is trained, licensed and gets updated about laws and taxes all the time and his firm is the only place we ask our legal questions
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amother




Ecru


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:05 am
amother [ Indigo ] wrote:
Speak to your accountant.

I don’t get it why people ask random imamothers questions like this. Our CPA is trained, licensed and gets updated about laws and taxes all the time and his firm is the only place we ask our legal questions


Bottom line - the tax return requires a person to report the money they receive for providing a service. If OP keeps track of that with some reasonable records - what she suggested is reasonable - she's fine.

The much bigger issues here are NOT tax related.
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Notsobusy




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:13 am
Op, I'm not trying to disparage you or the course you're taking, I'm just trying to understand how an 8 hour course can possibly teach anyone enough to help people suffering from mental illness or addictions. I checked out their website, and it sounds like they are going to help you recognize the signs so you can direct people who are suffering to get the help they need. If that's all they're teaching you than 8 hours might be enough, but how are you going to make money from this? What are you charging people for?

I'm sorry for all the questions, and I know it's none of my business, but I'm finding this very confusing.
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baby12x




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:17 am
I would be more concerned with the legal liabilities involved.
YOU MUST SPEAK TO A LAWYER AND INSURANCE AGENT BEFORE STARTING THIS
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amother




Forestgreen


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:24 am
I would create a llc. It’s inexpensive and you can do it yourself. Report the income of the llc. If you are a single employee you can report it with your personal tax return.
Double check all this with your accountant please.
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amother




Silver


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:33 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I am going to be taking an 8 hr course next week to be certified in mental health first aid. This will allow me to recognize and help individuals suffering from any sort of mental illness or drug addiction. What I would like to then do is start charging people a small fee for my help, however, I want to do it legally. My husband told me that he'll create a quick books account for me, where I can document any money I make, as well as print receipts for the people I charge. Then, come tax time, I would document everything I made in the taxes, which would make any money I earned legal. I just want to know if there is anything else I should know about this so that everything I'm doing is legal. I'm a little nervous about doing something wrong and then possibly getting into trouble. Thanks

You would not be qualified to diagnose anyone with a mental disorder nor would you have the insurance, training, supervision, etc required to counsel people with this 8 hour class so if you want to be a therapist then go to school and get your license. People dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues deserve better care than someone who took an 8 hour course and somehow thinks she is qualified to deal with severe problems that you wont even begin to understand in 8 hours.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:39 am
Notsobusy wrote:
Op, I'm not trying to disparage you or the course you're taking, I'm just trying to understand how an 8 hour course can possibly teach anyone enough to help people suffering from mental illness or addictions. I checked out their website, and it sounds like they are going to help you recognize the signs so you can direct people who are suffering to get the help they need. If that's all they're teaching you than 8 hours might be enough, but how are you going to make money from this? What are you charging people for?

I'm sorry for all the questions, and I know it's none of my business, but I'm finding this very confusing.

I don't disagree with you. It is only an 8 hour course but I feel like this would be a start for me. I have been going through a lot mentally/emotionally and I just want to be able to help others. My husband found out about this course. He said I could really benefit from taking this course. I want to then reach out to people and try to help them. The course isn't just being able to suggest other resources, it will also teach me how to help people myself. I have friends who are certified life coaches who got certified at a few day course who now charge for their services. I just wanted to see if I would be able to do that.
I would charge for the help I provide them. If necessary, I would make sure they are seeking professional help. I just thought this would be a starting point for me. I hope I'm making sense.
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amother




Ecru


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:46 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I don't disagree with you. It is only an 8 hour course but I feel like this would be a start for me. I have been going through a lot mentally/emotionally and I just want to be able to help others. My husband found out about this course. He said I could really benefit from taking this course. I want to then reach out to people and try to help them. The course isn't just being able to suggest other resources, it will also teach me how to help people myself. I have friends who are certified life coaches who got certified at a few day course who now charge for their services. I just wanted to see if I would be able to do that.
I would charge for the help I provide them. If necessary, I would make sure they are seeking professional help. I just thought this would be a starting point for me. I hope I'm making sense.


OP - this is a lovely thought what you are saying.

Assuming this is your course - https://www.mentalhealthfirsta.....urse/ - or something similar - its purpose is 'first aid' - the parallel would be taking a course on how to help someone who is choking - and then charging a fee when you encounter a choking victim.

Have you looked into more rigorous schooling?
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amother




Ginger


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:51 am
I have friends who took this course. It is a free much resource. It absolutely does not qualify you to charge for services. It's simply to increase awareness of how best to respond when people in your own life are struggling with mental health issues.
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dankbar




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 11:54 am
First you want to know how you will be filing the income on a corporation or personal tax return. Then find out if you can take expenses as well & track those as well, with checks & receipts/invoices. Keep a separate checking account for business.
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Notsobusy




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 12:04 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I don't disagree with you. It is only an 8 hour course but I feel like this would be a start for me. I have been going through a lot mentally/emotionally and I just want to be able to help others. My husband found out about this course. He said I could really benefit from taking this course. I want to then reach out to people and try to help them. The course isn't just being able to suggest other resources, it will also teach me how to help people myself. I have friends who are certified life coaches who got certified at a few day course who now charge for their services. I just wanted to see if I would be able to do that.
I would charge for the help I provide them. If necessary, I would make sure they are seeking professional help. I just thought this would be a starting point for me. I hope I'm making sense.


I honestly don't see how a few days can turn someone into a life coach either. But here you're talking about a few hours, not even a few days, and you're talking about much bigger issues than life coaches touch. People with mental health issues and addictions need help from well trained specialists, not someone who took an 8 hour course. I really think you have your heart in the right place, but I think you need to look into this a little more. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to burst your bubble. Good luck with everything.
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amother




Ecru


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 12:19 pm
dankbar wrote:
First you want to know how you will be filing the income on a corporation or personal tax return. Then find out if you can take expenses as well & track those as well, with checks & receipts/invoices. Keep a separate checking account for business.


A corporation isn't going to magically appear.

Straight-up - if a person does nothing else but charge money for some services - if she reports that income on her tax return - she's on the right side of the income tax law. Its really not complicated.
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amother




Orange


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 3:24 pm
amother [ Ecru ] wrote:
A corporation isn't going to magically appear.

Straight-up - if a person does nothing else but charge money for some services - if she reports that income on her tax return - she's on the right side of the income tax law. Its really not complicated.


This.

If you report income to the IRS, it's on the books.

If you don't, it's off the books.

Licensing, legalities, etc are completely separate.

If it's a small amount of money, just report it straight (schedule c). You don't need to create a separate business entity (LLC or corporation). If it's a larger enterprise or if you want to protect yourself should you ever chv get sued, speak to a lawyer or accountant about what is best for your situation.

You can (and should) deduct any business expenses from your business income. Speak to your CPA or do some research on IRS.gov to know what qualifies as a business expense. And be aware that self-employment tax is about 15% of net income.
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amother




Denim


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 4:25 pm
Notsobusy wrote:
Op, I'm not trying to disparage you or the course you're taking, I'm just trying to understand how an 8 hour course can possibly teach anyone enough to help people suffering from mental illness or addictions. I checked out their website, and it sounds like they are going to help you recognize the signs so you can direct people who are suffering to get the help they need. If that's all they're teaching you than 8 hours might be enough, but how are you going to make money from this? What are you charging people for?

I'm sorry for all the questions, and I know it's none of my business, but I'm finding this very confusing.


You’re entirely correct. The course doesn’t make anyone a therapist or half a therapist. It’s “awareness level” training so you can recognize signs of mental problems and respond to people appropriately.
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amother




OP


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 6:35 pm
amother [ Denim ] wrote:
You’re entirely correct. The course doesn’t make anyone a therapist or half a therapist. It’s “awareness level” training so you can recognize signs of mental problems and respond to people appropriately.

Where in my post did I ever say that I was trying to be a therapist?
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amother




Ecru


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 6:54 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Where in my post did I ever say that I was trying to be a therapist?


People who charge a fee to help someone with their mental illness are therapists.
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amother




Natural


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 9:25 pm
Let each person who comes to you for help know that you took an 8 Hour course with a lunch break.
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Amarante




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Sep 01 2019, 10:04 pm
As others have posted, so long as you report income to the IRS you are covered in terms of taxes. There might also be state taxes. You don't have to be fancy so long as you have a record of income and keep good records of any business deductions you take. It is highly unlikely that you will be audited because the amount of income you will be receiving isn't worth the audit time.

However, as others have pointed out, it is unclear what your business plan actually is. Be extremely careful in terms of what you call your services as therapists, counselors etc. are generally licensed professions and the State can be extremely difficult if it finds out that someone is holding themselves out as offering psychological services of some kind.

How are you planning to "advertise" or "promote" your services - again I am not clear who the market is for this kind of thing. In what situations would people contect you and how would you assist them - assist them to do what?
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