Therapists can refer clients to psychiatry on UpLift. Psychiatric providers are available to answer questions about medication, changing treatment plans, side effects, and more.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.

IRS Tax Form 1040s are scattered on the bottom edge. A lone pen sits diagonally above them.
Best Practices

A Therapist’s Guide to Tax Season

If you're doing taxes as a therapist working as an independent contractor or on your private practice, this guide can help you know where to start.

A Therapist’s Guide to Tax Season
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist


min read


table of contents

Whether it’s your first time filing taxes or you’ve done it many times before, doing taxes as an independent therapist or for a practice is its own beast. 

We’ve collected some guides, resources, links, and advice to help you start and make the process more manageable.*

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How do I file my taxes? 

There are 3 ways file your taxes: 

  1. Mail your forms. 
  2. File online using a tax software. Taxpayers who earned less than $73,000 can get tax preparation and filing for free. Otherwise, taxpayers can prepare their own taxes and file for free using the IRS’s Free File or pay softwares such as TaxAct, TurboTax, or H&R Block.
  3. Hire a tax professional or accountant. For some growing practices or small businesses, this may be an investment that makes sense. 

What is the deadline to file my taxes? 

If you’re doing contract work or running your own practice, we recommend that you consider filing your quarterly estimated taxes quarterly with the IRS.

The deadline to annually file your federal taxes and most state taxes for 2022 is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. 

These states are the exceptions: 

  • Iowa - May 1
  • Virginia - May 1
  • Delaware - May 2
  • Louisiana - May 15

Some states also don’t have an income tax, which means you’d only need to file your federal tax return. 

If you’ve been impacted by storms in California, Georgia, or Alabama, you may have until May 18 to file. 

You can also request an extension to move your deadline to Monday, October 16, 2023. Friendly reminder that an extension only gives you more timeto file your return, not on paying your taxes!

What do I need to start? 

Here are some basics you may need when filing your taxes: 

  • If you’re filing on your own as an individual, small business, or sole proprietor, an IRS Form 1040
  • A Social Security number, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and/or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Identity Protection PIN, if you or your spouse have one
  • A W-2 form from your employer
  • 1099 forms from your different income sources
  • Last year’s tax return to get your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

NerdWallet has a good guide about filing taxes as an individual but we’re going to talk about other things to consider when you’re filing as a provider building a practice.

Along with the IRS website, you can get any of the forms you need from Free File Fillable Forms

What’s an EIN or ITIN?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) identifies you to the IRS as an organization, whether or not you have employees. Though you may be an individual therapist, having an EIN can be helpful for issuing receipts, invoices, superbills, or other payment information to clients without having to use your SSN. 

If you want an EIN, you can apply for one using a Form SS-4.

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is used for taxpayers who don’t have or can’t get an SSN, such as nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and their dependents. 

If you want an ITIN, you can apply for one using a Form W-7.

What 1099 forms do I file?

If you’re on a therapy platform such as UpLift, that’s at least one Form 1099-NEC that you’ll need to file. Each platform or insurance company you contract with should provide you a form if you earned over $600. 

1099 forms report on any income or payments you received over $600 that weren’t from your employer. 

Here are examples of what you might need a Form 1099 for: 

  • Practicing therapy as a contractor on a platform
  • Payments from insurance claims
  • Consulting or freelance work
  • Running an online business or ecommerce site
  • Canceled mortgage 
  • For certain states, unemployment compensation or state refunds
  • Selling real estate or property
  • Receiving distributions from retirement or pension plans

This last one doesn’t fit the same mold as the others: You’ll need a 1099 form if you receive $10 or more in royalties, your bank, or brokerage. 

We recommend waiting until you receive all your 1099s from your platforms, insurance providers, and credit card companies (to track verifiable income) so you can compare and confirm that costs are in-line. 

The IRS has a list of 1099 forms you can e-file.

Do I pay multiple state taxes if I practice in different states?

With many therapists licensed to practice in more than one state and providing virtual therapy to earn income in other states, filing taxes in another state is a possibility. 

If you’re one of these therapists, the answer is “maybe.” The Private Practice Skills channel has a video walking mental health professionals through how to navigate this tax issue.

We highly recommend checking the laws in the states where you practice to understand if you need to file. Some states, such as Florida or Tennessee, don’t have a state income tax but may still require a registered agent address and taxes from non-residents. 

If you’re a therapist practicing outside of the states, you may want to listen to The Traveling Therapist Podcast’s episode “US Expatriate and Foreign National Tax Complexities Explained with Katrina C.M. Haynes.”

What deductibles can I claim?

Now comes the fun part: saving money or getting some back on your refunds. We recommend keeping deduction sheets throughout your year. 

To start, if you have a dedicated home office, you may be able to claim a deduction.

Here’s a couple of other things you might consider claiming if you’re using it for work: 

  • Continuing education fees or subscriptions
  • On-site trainings or retreats with credits
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Office rent, utilities, & general liability insurance
  • If you have employees you may need Workman’s Compensation Insurance
  • Merchant fees for credit card payments
  • Case consultation fees
  • Accountant costs
  • Cellphone or business phones (you’ll have to identify a percentage of use for business)
  • Fax machines
  • Office supplies and snacks for clients
  • Art supplies for children clients
  • EMDR subscriptions or other specialized tools
  • Subscriptions to any other therapy platforms (for marketing, notes, etc.)
  • Website costs
  • Zoom subscriptions
  • Health care 
  • Monthly electronic health record costs
  • Student loans

* This guide is intended to support mental health providers looking for resources to navigate taxes, and should not be taken as advice from an accounting or financial professional.

About the author
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist

Eliana Reyes is a content strategist and writer at UpLift.

Edited by

Meredith McClarty

Fact checked by

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Every UpLift article is created by our team or other qualified contributors, and reviewed for accuracy by clinicians.

Kathleen Coughlin, LCSW

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