Can Dental Associate CE Cost be Deducted from Salary?

I would like to take an implant CE course that will cost ~$6500. I am an associate in an office that does not pay for my CE. I would like to have the practice pay for this course and take the cost out of my gross income. If I understand things correctly this will save them payroll taxes and I will pay for the course with pre tax dollars. The CPA (non-dental) for the office seems confused. Maybe I am not communicating the situation properly for them? Or am I looking at things wrong?

Yes, it’s likely miscommunication that’s causing confusion. The practice CPA may think you’re asking the practice to LEND you the money and withhold it to pay it back.

I have no doubt the CE would be deductible to the practice, therefore, maybe you can simply ask it this way:

“In lieu of paying me my normal wage, will you pay for CE up to $6,500 for this course”….of course you’ll have to work out the timing since I’m guessing just one of your pay checks may not be enough to cover the full $6,500.

This first appeared on Dentaltown.

Send your questions to Tim Lott, CPA, CVA at

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