Tax season has begun! If you’re a professional musician (large or small-scale) and you earn income from performing, recording, or licensing your music you must file taxes on the income you receive. Tax preparation can be daunting but the great news is that you’re entitled to deductions on expenses that are part of your cost of doing business.
Here is a short list of deductions that you are entitled to claim if you’re a professional musician.
• Electronic gear (including cables, amps, pedals, tuners, microphones, mixing equipment, and speakers)
• Instruments and accessories (includes things like guitars, drum sets, stands, straps, reeds, and strings)
• Subscriptions to industry publications
• Promotional and advertising materials for your business (including recording fees and printing and/or shipping costs, website hosting fees, website development or design fees)
• Dues for professional organizations
• Rent for your studio or recording space (it gets a little more complicated for home-based studios so if you primarily work from home, speak with your accountant before you claim this deduction)
• Travel expenses
• Networking expenses
There are many bits and pieces when it comes to tax preparation for the music business. If you’re unsure where to start (or you hate keeping track of the details) work with a qualified accountant or business manager who can help you sort through the mess and make sure that you’re receiving all the deductions to which you’re entitled.