Music CPA

Business of Music

The music business has undergone some drastic changes in the past generation. The consolidation of major record labels and the onset of digital technology has greatly changed the relationship between artists, record labels and the consumer. More than ever before, artists are now empowered with the tools needed to create and release their music without the need for a major label.

While creatively liberating, this creates new responsibilities for an artist or band seeking to act, in effect, as their own record label. At a minimum, an annual Federal Income Tax Return must be filed (and the taxes paid) using numbers from a reasonably accurate set of books.

That’s where we can help you. Whether you are a major label artist, an indie label artist or a DIY artist, we have the resources and experience to take over the process wherever you need us to. Whatever your level of business experience, we can help you decide where you leave off and where we pick up. Many of our clients, under our guidance, keep up with their bank account and books during the year using popular accounting software such as “QuickBooks”. We simply have them send us the year-end copy on disk or e-mail the file to us, make adjustments to the file, and prepare the tax return from the adjusted file.

Other clients simply total up their income and expenses for the year (with some advice from us), and we use those numbers to prepare their return. We are always on the lookout for expenses that may have been missed – as well as those that look questionable. The income side of your business is no less important than the expense side – if you have a booking agency or checking account, you don’t want to make the mistake of failing to report performance and merchandise sales that are easy for the IRS to find if they were to go looking at your tax return. We have had many years of experience dealing with the various types of income and expense that music professionals incur and have a good feel for how they should be reported on your tax return.