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Performing Rights Organizations: A Quick Crash Course for Songwriters

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If you've gotten serious about your music, you may have heard someone mention performing rights organizations in passing (PROs, for short) – possibly even by name. Maybe you've always wondered what they were and have been embarrassed to ask. Fortunately, this article is here to help!

How Do Dry Music Venues Make Money? (And 10 Other Things You Should Know)

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You’re looking to play in a new city and you find an awesome music venue… but there's no booze. What does that mean for your band? How do you get paid? Will your fans still come? Are there perks to playing an alcohol-free spot?

We got three expert talent buyers and venue owners from across the US to weigh in on the subject of booze-free music venues:

5 Things You’re Overpaying for as a Musician

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At some point, you’ve probably heard a financial expert on TV say that it’s better to save money than to earn more. If you earn more money, the government taxes the amount, but a dollar saved stays in your pocket.

As musicians, we’re in a field with a low profit margin as it is – especially when we consider how long we practiced for free to get good enough to be heard. Every dollar helps, and you’ve almost certainly been paying too much for the following five things.

Here's Exactly What to Say to Get IRS Tax Penalties Waived for Your Band

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You open your mailbox, and there's a letter, from the I... R... S! Questions start racing in your mind. How did they find me? What does this letter mean? Am I going to be able to afford this? When do I have to pay them? Who can help me fix this?

Over the past three years, I’ve negotiated musicians out of $863 to $1,595 of penalties from the IRS for not paying their taxes by the due date or filing their tax returns late.

You'd be surprised how many musicians can’t pay their taxes when they're due. Each year, seven million taxpayers don’t file their returns on time or don’t pay by the due date. Of those, nearly two million qualify for penalty relief.

Some of the most painful and expensive fees from the IRS are usually failure-to-pay penalties, which can be up to 25 percent of the tax you owed. Of course, the best way to avoid IRS penalties is to not let them happen in the first place. But can you get IRS fees waived if you didn't have the money to pay your band’s taxes? Yep – here's how.

Don't Get Screwed Over: 3 Times Musicians Think a Handshake Deal Is Enough, But It's Not

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Musicians often ask me when they need to “get it in writing” as opposed to just having a verbal agreement or handshake deal. The real answer to that question is that you should always get agreements in writing, but there are three common scenarios where it's especially essential. Doing so will provide you with much needed protection later on when money or fame create unanticipated problems. Here's how you handle each situation.