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Hit the right notes with deductions! This blog post is your guide to the tax write-offs designed for musicians. From instruments to travel, we’ll uncover the different aspects that qualify as business expenses in the music industry.

Tax Write-Offs for Musicians ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽธ

Want an overview of write-offs before diving in? Check out our previous post!

In general, if you plan on claiming any of these items/services as a write-off, always keep yourย receipts.

Professional Services โœจ
  • Manager and agent fees/commissions
  • Union dues
  • Legal fees
  • Accountants
  • Financial software (like Sai ๐Ÿ˜‰)
  • Consultants
Promotional Expenses ๐Ÿ’ป
  • Professional photos/videos
  • Rรฉsumรฉ printing costs
  • Website subscriptions
  • Business cards
  • Mailing expenses
Education ๐Ÿ“š
  • Music lessons
  • Workshops, masterclasses, and seminars
  • Subscriptions useful for music (industry specific news sites, or sheet music website subscriptions)
Travel ๐Ÿš—
  • Local commute expenses related to auditions, rehearsals, classes, and performances, such as subway fares, taxis, tolls, car mileage, etc.
  • Travel expenses related to auditions, rehearsals, classes, and performances, such as plane tickets and accommodation costs
Aesthetics ๐Ÿ’„
  • Initial makeup and hair costs related to a specific audition or job
Food and Beverage โ˜•๏ธŽ
  • 50% of the cost of meals while travelling for business
  • Food purchased as part of a business meeting
Instruments ๐ŸŽป

If you’re a working musician, there’s a chance your employer might ask you to supply your own musical instrument. The good news is you can actually deduct the expenses related to your instrument. This includes any GST, PST, or HST you paid on these expenses. Plus, there’s a possibility of getting a rebate for the sales tax you paid if you are registered for an HST number at the time of the purchase.

While you can’t subtract the full cost of your instrument in the same tax year (needs to be depreciated), here’s what you can deduct:

  • maintenance costs
  • rental fees
  • insurance costs
Equipment and Supplies ๐ŸŽผ

Like an instrument you own, you also canโ€™t subtract the entire cost of sheet music or a score used for work from your income. Instead, youโ€™re allowed to deduct a portion of its cost over time. This gradual deduction is known as depreciation or, for tax purposes, capital cost allowance (CCA). Some examples for musicians are:

  • Cell phone or computer
  • Sheet music, scores, scripts, transcriptions, arrangements, and other recordings

Feeling like this is a lot to remember? ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Thatโ€™s literally why we made Sai. Because we know you donโ€™t have time for this!

Sai will:

  • Trackย +ย categorize all your expenses
  • Give you estimates of how muchย tax you owe each month
  • File your taxesย at the end of the year!