Some of us dread tax season more than others. Uncle Sam likes to take a decent portion out of our paychecks and put it towards paving roads, school systems and our growing American debt. Tax season doesn’t always have to be such a bad thing. Tax season can actually work for the independent musician. Yes, that means you too!!
You, as an independent musician get to write off a lot of your expenses. Sure, you have to pay some taxes if a club cuts you a check, but you get to write off equipment purchases, maintenance, travel costs and car mileage, practice or office space rental, audio and video production expenses, web hosting and a few other things.
When you book a show that is a little out of the way make sure to save your gas and toll receipts. That new killer guitar you just bought, yup, save the receipt on that bad boy (or girl) for Uncle Sam! Buy those new cymbals that you have been drooling over. You can write those off too. Is your favorite music store having a sale? Feel free to stock up on all of the little things you needs. Just don’t let go of that receipt.
You definitely should take whatever deductions are allowed – we don’t get many tax breaks in the country; well, not unless you’re rich. If you’re confused about filing your IRS form, don’t be afraid to go to a tax professional. It’s one of the few things that we can afford. Most commercial named branches will charge $50 (that you can write off next year) to do all of the hard work for you. You put the money out to support your career. Why not make your taxes work in your favor. Stay organize, hold on to everything and get some of your money back. As an independent musician, every penny counts.