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Dec 14, 2020

Don’t Take Tax Advice from Therapists

An interview with Julie Herres of GreenOak Accounting on why you shouldn’t take tax advice from random therapists in a Facebook Group. Curt and Katie talk with Julie about common mistakes therapists make while trying to do their own bookkeeping and accounting, a new way to look at expenses, what is (and is not) tax deductible, what business entity you might consider, and why the picture is extra complex right now, meaning expert advice is especially important.    

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Julie Herres, GreenOak Accounting

Julie Herres is an accountant and the owner of GreenOak Accounting. Her firm provides accounting, bookkeeping & tax services to private practice owners throughout the United States. Their mission is for every practice to be profitable! Julie and her team have worked with hundreds of private practice owners, so they are uniquely positioned to be a trusted advisor to clients. Julie also hosts the Therapy For Your Money Podcast, where she talks about all things money & finance for private practice.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The common mistake of not saving enough for taxes
  • Bookkeeping mistakes
  • How to look at your numbers, what numbers you should know about
  • Expenses that may be outsized for your need
  • Problem-solving for when your numbers are out of whack
  • The importance of planning and having a conversation with an expert
  • Being a good steward of the money that is coming into your therapy business
  • What you can do proactively to plan for your business and taxes
  • What you can do to clean up your books and then plan ahead going forward
  • The value of basic budgeting and forecasting, even for 2021
  • Uncertainty and luck can be navigated
  • Covid expenses and plans for investing in growth
  • What you can still do to address 2020 taxes (including quarterly tax payments)
  • What to spend money on when you have extra money at the end of the year
  • The possibility of maximizing retirement accounts, etc.
  • What you can do into 2021 that still impact 2020 taxes
  • The need for really good advice based on the complexity of income, loans, etc.
  • Which experts to go to for advice, which to go to implement your plan
  • The danger of taking tax advice from a FB group and other questionable advice
  • Personal expenses are not typically tax deductible (therapy, clothes, makeup, etc.)
  • What you can deduct related to gifts
  • Marketing expenses and usual and necessary expenses for business.
  • Different business entities and some of the things to consider when deciding (spoiler alert: get advice because these things are so complex and depend on your full financial picture
  • Things to consider in becoming a corporation and who to get help from
  • How to prepare for changes (or potential changes) expected for 2021
  • The way in which having an accountant can support you in staying abreast of what you need to know as a business owner

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

Julie’s website: GreenOak Accounting

Therapy for Your Money Podcast

Free tax planning checklist:

Relevant Episodes:

The 4-1-1 on your 401K

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined Conferences

 Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making "dad jokes" and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also Past President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt's youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.


Stay in Touch:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Group



Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano