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Income Tax Preparation

Canada and the United States

Tax Issues for Musicians

United States Canada

Do You Need a Visa When Crossing the Border?

Author: Robert Baird
First Posted: July 23, 2014

Do you need a visa? The short answer for musicians travelling to the US to work is that yes, you do need a visa; for musicians coming to Canada to work the answer is possibly, depending upon your nationality.
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United States Canada

Canadian Musicians Performing in the United States

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: June 17, 2013

Thorny tax issues arise when Canadian musicians perform in the United States. The tax treatment can vary widely depending on whether the musicians are: employed or self-employed; Nonresident Aliens, Resident Aliens or U.S. citizens; performing as individuals, in an ensemble, or as part of a business or charity.
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United States

I Can Deduct CD Production, Right?

Author: Alan M. Friedman, CPA
First Posted: Aug. 22, 2007

Recently, there has been an explosion in independent CD recordings, often made at a musician's own expense on digital home recording equipment we could have only dreamed of 20 or 30 years ago. Consequently, every March and April, as my firm prepares scores of tax returns for musician clients, the question of deducting CD production costs is inevitably raised.
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Canada

Automobile Expenses

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: Oct. 15, 2005

Question: "I am a self-employed musician. A friend told me that I could not claim a deduction on my income tax return for automobile expenses relating to trips from my home to my engagements. Is this true?"
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United States

An Obscure Tax Deduction Helps Low-Income Musicians in the U.S.

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: Sept. 24, 2004

The Performing Artist Deduction can be used to reduce the taxable income of employed musicians earning less than $16,000/year, without the usual limits imposed when claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A.
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United States

1099 Forms for Musicians Hired

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: April 6, 2004

Question: "I'm recording a CD. Do I have to fill out 1099's for the musicians on the record? I paid them either $500 or $1000."
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Canada

Demystifying the GST

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: August, 2003

All Canadian musicians should consider registering to collect the GST, regardless of how much money they make.
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United States Canada

Are Donated Services Tax Deductible?

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: June, 2003

It's a common question among musicians that applies to every entrepreneur: if I play a concert for free, can I get a charitable donation receipt for the value of my services and deduct it from my income tax?
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United States Canada

Meal Expenses for Musicians

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: February, 2003

Musicians shouldn't shy away from claiming meal expenses, but the expenses must be for legitimate business purposes with each receipt fully substantiated.
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United States Canada

Year-end Tax Jobs You Need To Do

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: December, 2002

Here are three things you should do every December 31. Make the tax department and your accountant happy by taking care of these important year-end details.
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United States Canada

Make Your Trip Partially Deductible

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: December, 2002

Introduce a business component into your trip and deduct a portion of the travel expenses from your income at tax time!
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United States Canada

Incorporation Revisited

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: December, 2002

The article above, "Should You Incorporate?," prompted a few responses from readers in the United States. Here is additional discussion on liability and Sub-Chapter S Corporations.
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United States Canada

Should You Incorporate?

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: November, 2002

Have you ever wondered whether you should incorporate yourself to save income taxes? This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation for musicians. Although the information presented here is related to Canada, it will also be useful for U.S. musicians.
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United States Canada

Income Tax Implications of Recording a CD

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: July, 2002

If you record a CD, don't try to expense all the costs in one year!
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United States

Depreciation for U.S. Musicians

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: February, 2001

Deducting depreciation on musical instruments, automobiles, computers, and other equipment in the United States is a complicated endeavour, but here are some tips!
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United States

A to Z of Musician's Deductions in the U.S.

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Musicians can deduct any reasonable expense incurred to earn income. This list doesn't give every allowable deduction for the self-employed, but it should give you an idea of some special ones for musicians.
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Canada

A to Z of Musician's Deductions in Canada

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Musicians can deduct any reasonable expense incurred to earn income. This list doesn't give every allowable deduction for the self-employed, but it should give you an idea of some special ones for musicians.
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United States

Top Ten Ways to Avoid an Audit

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

It is an unfortunate fact of life that self-employed taxpayers are more likely to be audited by the IRS. That's because we are easy targets, since so many of us fail to keep proper records! To minimize your chances of going through this nightmare, follow these ten steps.
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Canada

Top Ten Ways to Avoid an Audit

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

It is an unfortunate fact of life that self-employed taxpayers are more likely to be audited by Canada Revenue Agency. That's because we are easy targets, since so many of us fail to keep proper records! To minimize your chances of going through this nightmare, follow these ten steps.
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United States

Record Keeping

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Here is a list of the kinds of records the IRS requires to substantiate your return. If you do get audited, having these records will go a long way towards minimizing the damage and keeping you out of trouble!
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Canada

Record Keeping

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Here is a list of the kinds of records Canada Revenue Agency requires to substantiate your return. If you do get audited, you will probably have to pay some money. Having these records will go a long way towards minimizing the damage and keeping you out of trouble!
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United States

Business and Hobby Losses

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Losses occur when costs exceed income, and are usually a sign that things are not going very well. However, from a tax point of view, the nice thing is about losses is that you can write them off against other income you receive during the year.
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Canada

Reasonable Expectation of Profit

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Losses occur when costs exceed income, and are usually a sign that things are not going very well. However, from a tax point of view, the nice thing is about losses is that you can write them off against other income you receive during the year.
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United States

Depreciation for String Players

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

What do you do if your instrument actually goes up in value? Should you claim depreciation on it? This is a tricky situation for many musicians.
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Canada

Depreciation for String Players

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

What do you do if your instrument actually goes up in value? Should you claim depreciation on it? This is a tricky situation that musicians need to think about carefully.
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United States

Music Students: To File or Not To File?

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Income tax is probably the last thing on most students minds, but there are several good reasons for filing a properly prepared tax return while in school, even when not required to pay tax.
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Canada

Music Students: To File or Not To File?

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Income tax is probably the last thing on most students minds, but there are several good reasons for filing a properly prepared tax return while in school, even when not required to pay tax.
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Canada

How to Get a 3% Raise (with one phone call)

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Self-employed musicians can have a 3% raise by making a quick phone call to Canada Revenue Agency.
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United States Canada

Starting Your Music Business

Author: Brad Howland
First Posted: October, 2000

Helpful hints on how to get a music business started and lower your taxes.
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The information on this website, and the use of this website, are both provided without warranty of any kind. Income tax rules change every year and some information may be out of date. All readers wishing to take advantage of the information offered here should consult a qualified income tax preparer. In no event will Brad Howland, Howland Tax Services, or this website be liable for any damages, including lost profits, arising out of the information offered on this website, or the usage of this website. All material on this website Copyright © 2001-2017 by Howland Tax Services, Inc. Please contact us for permission to use this material in any form. Website designed and maintained by Brad Howland.