#048: Roundtable – Music is Your Business

NewsFacebook’s new terms get a rewrite. More on royalty rates and internet Radio. Myspace has people spending way more time per visit. Indie band Officer Roseland sets up mystimuluspackage.org to pay fans $1 to download their new album.  We recap last weeks episode “A Musician’s Guide to Taxes” complete with a horror story from a musician friend who shares his experience with an IRS audit of his tax claims. Plus calls from our talented and musically inclined audience.

  • Another great episode guys.

    Happy Birthday Robert!

    I found it intriguing that you guys sort of laughed it off over the “Fun Units” idea but, seriously that is the mentality out there today.

    By the way, the Officer Roseland guys are doing one thing right in this promotion of theirs, they are adding the downloader to their email/newsletter list. I’m a bit mystified at the idea of just giving it away and paying for the privelege especially considering the album is not a bad album. I chose to donate not take the money by the way…

  • I realized two things that need to be stated to supplement the taxes podcast.

    First, there’s a major part to tracking your vehicle mileage that was not addressed. If the vehicle you use is for business and for personal, you need to keep track of both business and personal miles. Your accountant will need to show what percentage of mileage went to business and personal in compared to your overall mileage. The log book from office depot is the best thing. Write every mile down.

    Second, when someone decides that they will file all or a portion of their taxes as a sole proprietor, they become responsible for paying estimated quarterly payments. These “estimated” payments are based either on your on your projected annual taxable income as a sole proprietor (if filing as a sole proprietor for the first time) or your taxable income history. It’s not such a big deal unless you’re making some real money, but the point to make here is that there’s an additional responsibility on the sole proprietor to make these quarterly payments as opposed to employees who don’t have to do anything until April.

    Points made. Great podcast.

  • Tax Horror Story
    A few years ago my band got a weekly gig in Saugutuck, MI. When we played the first one the owner brought out the 1099 which, being the only guy with a regularly paying day job, I gallantly volunteered to sign. I paid the two other guys via check or cash each week. We played 1 or 2 times a week for the entire summer and moved on. At tax time the owner never sent me a 1099 and I didn’t even think about it. Several months after filing I received a letter from the IRS saying that I owed them around $1200 in taxes for the income at this club. Apparently the club owner had sent the information to the IRS, but not to me. By this time our bass player had sadly passed away so there were only two of us left. My partner volunteered to help with the tax bill so our next few gigs ended up being played solely for the IRS to pay taxes on gigs we played almost two years earlier. I guess the lessons are you have to claim the income whether or not you get the 1099 (especially if the club owner is going to send in the information to the IRS!), and that it’s probably a good idea to make sure you organize your pay process so that each band member shares the tax burden on the money they earn from the gig…and one guy doesn’t end up getting stuck with it all.

    Ken Bierschbach
    Grand Rapids, MI

  • Thanks for talking about our new album in your podcast! This has been a really interesting experience for us, to say the least. We got an overwhelming response, and as we thought, most people chose “Take” rather than “Give” – bunch of greedy people out there! And, we’ve “raised” a bunch of money for the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

    Anyway, at this time, we are still keeping this going. Certainly the “gimmick” behind it has gained us a lot of attention, but it’s definitely been a great project.

    Thanks again for the mention!
    Officer Roseland