Thursday, September 29, 2011

Music Business/Law Tips - "Taxes" (Part 1)

If a person is actively pursuing a career as a musical artist, and not just playing/writing as a hobby, that person is engaged in a trade or business (i.e., the music business). Hence, an artist can use the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States to his or her advantage. This article will discuss the main deductions that an artist can utilize for the purposes of paying taxes.

So long as an artist incurs expenses that are "ordinary and necessary" in pursuit of that artist's career, the expense should be deductible. However, any expense deducted from a tax return must be backed up by documentation. Therefore, it is imperative that an artist keep complete records of any and all expenses paid in pursuit of the artist's career. Usually, the record will be a receipt. Note that the IRS does not consider a cancelled check, by itself, adequate to verify a deduction; a receipt is more official and credible. An account book/file is also recommended to keep track of expenses. The main deductions to be aware of are as follows:

A. Travel. This would include air, bus, taxi or train fares, and any related transportation.

B. Meals and Lodging. These are deductible if related "primarily" to business.

[part 2 next time]

Ben McLane Esq

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