Homeafl50% of Self-Employed Musicians Are Overpaying On Their Tax Returns, Study Says

50% of Self-Employed Musicians Are Overpaying On Their Tax Returns, Study Says


Forget the encore—many self-employed musicians are singing the blues over tax blunders, according to a new study conducted by Pirate.

It turns out the green room isn’t leading to more green for independent musicians, many of whom are feeling the financial pitfalls of the UK’s tortuous tax codes. Pirate, a global studio network, surveyed over 500 DJs, music producers, bands and live performers and found that roughly half of them are overpaying on their tax returns.

Without a phalanx of managers and accountants at their disposal, tax season has always been an albatross for independent artists. Those musicians are failing to take advantage of tax-deductible essential expenses like performance-related travel and accommodation, studio time and equipment cost and maintenance, Pirate’s research claims.

50% of the survey’s respondents who submitted self-assessment tax returns indicated they do not log all the tax-deductible expenditures to which they’re entitled. The most common spends are those on subscriptions to music streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and SoundCloud Pro.

Elsewhere in the study, Pirate says only 30% of self-employed musicians use an accountant and 25% utilize bookkeeping apps. A more worrisome statistic, however, is the 48% of surveyed artists who said they were in debt. 51% had no savings.

“Accounting and taxes aren’t what most people dream of when they imagine their music career taking off,” said Emmavie Mbongo, Artist and Community Manager at Pirate. “In fact, managing your own finances is one of the most intimidating parts of monetizing your talents, but it becomes necessary very early on.”

Pirate has now developed a series of free workshops and a guide to help music creators manage the pain points of financial management. You can find out more here.

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