How to Muso at Tax Time

How to Muso at Tax Time – Here are some things you should know…

Like most of us, we’re shocked that 2020 actually got this far… That’s right folks, we are at EOFY. For most who live comfortably underneath the Tax-Free threshold, we revel in excitement at this time of the year because it means, FREE MONEY*

*it’s not actually free, it’s yours but you forgot about it so FREE MONEY!

For many, despite the excitement of earning back your moneys, tax time can also breed feelings of nervousness and anxiety because many of us still can’t count or file our taxes. So while we’re sure you’ll have to do a bit of homework regarding your timetables, we’re here to help you through your Muso finances in this quick guide to tax time.

There’s really only two things to note here:

1. You can claim a buttload of stuff

2. If you’ve registered your Muso profile with an ABN you can claim back GST

So if you don’t have the energy to rustle together all your receipts OR you haven’t been using your ABN… I’m afraid you don’t get many moneys…

Muso doesn’t withhold any of your tax amounts in bookings, so no cheeky group certificates or paperwork. You’ll need to note down your earnings after each booking to log in at tax time. You can find this in ‘Your Earnings.’

And here’s what you can earn if you’re a receipt hoarder…

  • Assets – Generally, those under $1,000 are deductible in the year of purchase.
  • Stage clothes / Costumes – Note that this relates to costumes only. Just because you wore those black jeans at a gig doesn’t mean they are deductible. It needs to be show/stage specific.
  • Education – Music courses, singing lessons, small business courses etc.
  • Accounting fees
  • Legal fees
  • Bookkeeping fees
  • Trademarks, registration fees, etc
  • Donations
  • Phone
  • Internet *
  • Computer costs – printer ink, paper etc.
  • Domestic ground transport – taxi, public transport, parking, tolls, etc
  • Stationery & postage
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Equipment
  • Meetings – catering a business meeting is deductible if the meeting is held at your office / house / manager’s place of business and is consumed at that place. Getting lunch or having a coffee out at a café or bar isn’t deductible. Also note that alcohol is never deductible unless it is a gift (e.g buying your manager’s receptionist a bottle of wine for her birthday is okay, but the bar tab after a gig is not)
  • Motor vehicle – it is generally a good idea to keep all receipts in relation to your motor vehicle in addition to a valid log book. This gives you an option to claim either cents / km or the log book method.
  • Promotion – advertising, CDs, website costs, Facebook etc
  • Recording costs – studio hire, producers, engineers etc
  • Reference / research expenses* – anything you may draw inspiration from. Might include concert tickets, CDs, records, DVDs, magazines, books, pay TV, theatre tickets, etc.
  • Rent – If you‘re renting your home and don’t claim rent elsewhere (e.g. studio) then you can claim a % of your rent and utilities (electricity and gas). The percentage is based on the floor space and how much is dedicated to your music business. A sketch of the floor plan will help here.
  • Studio hire.
  • Rehearsal room hire.
  • Storage – for your equipment
  • Tour costs
  • Flights, accommodation, visas, meals & incidentals whilst away from home, etc
  • Musicians, lighting, sound techs, guitar techs, FOH, tour manager, door / merch person.
  • Advertising, venue hire, travel insurance
  • Car hire and petrol, freight costs, backline hire

(*note that for things like phone and internet, you will need to provide your accountant with a reasonable business / music personal use percentage.)

If none of that makes sense and you still don’t know how to earn back your moneys, slip into our DMs or email us at [email protected]

Happy Taxing.

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