Saxophone Forum


by sax_maniac
(984 posts)
10 years ago

Taxes

Any rules of thumb for determining if you can write off your sax gear as a deduction? I suppose it would mean I have to start claiming my income from private instruction. And I'm pretty sure I can write off the miles I drive to and from gigs - either profit or volunteer. Not to mention the dedicated room in my house which is my practice/recording studio. I think you have to be turning a profit at some point, right? The guv don't tolerate lackey businesses for too long, I understand. Any good resources aside from irs.gov or personal experiences anyone cares to share?

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  1. by wvujazzman
    (48 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Taxes

    I write off all my gear, and miles. And I claim all income. I also do some side consulting, so I have a business license and tax id, and I run everything through that business. I'd be very careful with the "in-home" stuff, however. That's one of the really big red flags for the irs - my tax accountant told me that I'd probably increase my chances of getting audited tenfold. You really can only do that if the room is fully dedicated to your music. I'd strongly suggest that you talk to a tax professional and get a better opinion than mine. Good luck, Eric PS: whatever you do, keep meticulous records of mileage, purchases, etc.

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    1. by sax_maniac
      (984 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Taxes

      That's kind of what I was thinking - gear and miles, but the home office thang might not be worth the hassle of maintaining the paperwork. I'd be willing to pay the difference I'd save to not be audited - not that I have anything to hide. I'll be getting into more music publishing before long (waiting to get my hands on Finale), so at least I can add my computer to the list. It's 100% for my music and the occasional internet discussion board posting. I wonder if I can book the time it takes me to read irresponsibly long posts with no real content... Hmmm...... Seeking the advice of a professional is a really good idea. Don't know if they would let me bring my horn into a federal penitentiary. "I'll waive conjugal visits if I can keep my horn!"

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      1. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Taxes

        If your business is consulting, how are you able to run your music gear through it to write it off? I've never really thought about writing off any of my gear. I suppose it's all for gigs(aside from practice), so it could be put on taxes. I think come next tax season I may be seing a tenor Mark VI, to go with the alto. Hehehehehe. Saxmaniac, Finale' great. If I were you though, I would probably wait until the Finale 2005 comes out, there will probably be some nice improvements you'll wish you had waited for. I've got 2004 right now.

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        1. by wvujazzman
          (48 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          The reason I can do it is that I also run all my music income through the business. I started doing that when I had my studio, so I'd have an income account for "Engineering Income", one for CD duplication, etc. Then I added a service line for "Music Services" - performing, composing, etc. So if the IRS ever asks, I can say "this is what I made from consulting, this is what I made from music services. this is what I deducted for consulting expenses, this is what I deducted for music expenses." The only real reason I do it this way is because my city government wanted to charge me for two separate business licenses. My tax person actually came up with the idea. Eric

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        2. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          what is with finale anyways? most people I know with music programs say finale is the best - though, I have seen what sibelius can do, and it just trashes finale - though I beleive that sibelius is 600 bucks. I am going to start transcribing some stuff, and it would really help if it could transpose - I can't remember if sibelius can do that. Could you list the features of finale?

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        3. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          SaxMan: Finale is scoring software. It's main output is to generate sheet music and scores. I use Cakewalk Pro 9 for my composing and audio production, but it's scoring capabilities absolutely suck. I've written quite a bit of music but would like to work some things out for solo or ensemble work. Finale is what will let me turn my MIDI stuff into quality sheet music. CODA is the company. They have a web site, but I don't feel like chasing down the URL. Sorry. Google it. The cool thing is that there is a free Finale reader (like Acrobat) so I can share music with others in true format electronically. And I'm sorry, but I can't pass up that you are asking what Finale is and then later saying that Sibelius "just trashes" it. Relax, man! It's ok to ask questions! I'm sure Sibelius is great, too. Cakewalk and other simpler (cheaper) MIDI programs will do transposing track by track. At least they were around years back. I've been on Cakewalk for 10 years and have never needed to look for a replacement. I don't know when Finale 2005 comes out, so unless there's a press release or something talking about it, I'm not going to wait - sometime in the next month or two. Upgrades are usually cheap for music software - especially if you have recently purchased "last year's" version.

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        4. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The cool thing is that there is a free Finale reader (like Acrobat) so I can share music with others in true format electronically. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Last I looked, they offered a FREE basic version called 'Finale Notepad' that you can use to compose as well, up to 12 parts I think *and* with midi playbackincluding a decent number of concert instrument-like sounds . It will also let you transpose between the intended key and concert key. Playback is a bit raw, with there being no obvious way to program in things like trills (though it can play them back from existing demo files)

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        5. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Thanks, JFW. I'll check that out. I didn't know you could do composition with the freebie. That's what I get for not reading everything. I grabbed the .mp3 Soundfont comparison though - not much different than your standard Soundblaster palette, but seems to be mixed a little better.

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        6. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Hey Johnson, Finale Notepad is free, but it is junk compared to Finale. The 2004 version has human playback, on Notepad, a sax sounds like a violin when it plays back what you write. Also, Notepad can transcribe, you can't even put in a coda or anything, it's not worth fooling with. You can download it of codatechnologies.com. If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time with it. Saxman, I didn't read your post right, YES, Sibelius and Finale can Transpose, even Notepad can do that.

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        7. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Saxman, Finale is also 600, but you can get either one for 300 with a student of teacher discount. Just have your band director write a note. Finale can do much more advanced things than sibelius, I guarentee you, you just need to know how to use it. Finale can transcribe, hook a mic up and play, and it writes what you play down, it can also do MIDI transcription when you hook it up to a keyboard. But that's cheating. Download the program Transcribe, it's free. It slows music down so it's easier to transcribe.

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        8. by wesmiller
          (55 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Saxmanic: Get thee to a CPA. Avoid the large tax preparation companies; their interest generally lies in protecting themselves, not you. You need someone who will understand your business. WM

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        9. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Sorry, when I asked what finale was, I meant, what makes finale finale. I have seen a teachers copy of finale and it utterly failed to impress me - then that was a very old version of it. I have only recently hear dof sibelius from a friend in alabama, and was quite impressed with the midi play back and a bunch of other options. But my god, what do those guys thing they are playing at? XP is MUCH less, and it took MUCH MORE talent, time and money to devleop, not to mention that XP is considerably bigger, and your upgrades are free, and when then come out, you can be automatically notified if you like. So finale 2005 for writing and cakewalk for transposing...damn. 600 bucks - at least. My next sax is going to be a grafton, rather I should say purchase at no less than 700. might be a while before I can get going on these transcriptions. One more question - you said that finale could transcribe music from a recording - could it transcribe multiple lines at a time and then, off of a fairly low quality recording? (recording is derrived form edison cylinder.) I can transcribe by ear, but I am slow. VERY slow - don't have time for that might just have to buy a score and then arrange my sax orchestra.

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        10. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Yeah, when you make your blank score, just put in the instruments in the recording, and the meter it is in, and go to hyperscribe. But if it's a bad recording, it could butcher it a little. Instead of a mic, put a direct line from the stereo into your mic line. And Saxman as I mentioned earlier, you would be able to get it for 300- student discount. Try the stores through Ebay, that's the best place to find good prices.

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        11. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Wow thats cool, I think you have me sold on finale. My accompianist uses sibelius 2, I am going to have a look at that before I buy anything. (At this rate - in several months:( ) I forgot to ask last time, but this arrangement would have some exotic insturments in it like C-melody, Sopranino, bass and maybe C soprano if I can find one. I looked at their demo and they only had the standard saxes - is there a way to add in different instruments?

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        12. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          Well that's not in Sibelius or Finale, try emailing the people at CODA technologies, they may have some sort of update or enhancement package they can send you. If not, my advice would be to pick an instrument in thte key of C(or Bb for the bass sax), and rename it the instrument you want, it would play back different to you on the computer, but it be all the same when you print it out.

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        13. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Taxes

          right, ok, sounds good.

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