The Republic of Ireland has had special tax breaks for artists since 1979. Lord Smith of Kelvin will oversee the process of devolving additional powers over tax, spending and welfare to Scotland following the ‘No’ vote in the country’s independence referendum. Douglas Connell, a tax lawyer at Turcan Connell and chairman of Museums and Galleries Scotland has made a proposal for Scotland to introduce similar tax breaks for artists and musicians.
You don’t have to wait for the law to change before paying less tax. The first step for minimizing your tax bill is to make sure you are organised in your record keeping to ensure that you are claiming all the expenses that you can. If you record your expenses as you go and keep a regular routine in entering everything into an organised system, you are less likely to forget items of expenditure. An online accounting system like Xero can record cash expenses directly from your phone and ensure you never miss anything again!
The Musicians’ Union produces an annual handbook for members. Before you pay a penny to an accountant you should open up your copy of the handbook and turn to the Tax Savings Guide. This section has lots of useful information about organising your accounts and the expenses you may be able to claim. The MU also runs seminars from time to time in Scotland (and elsewhere) to provide additional support to members.
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