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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
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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.

How Much Does It Really Cost to Make An Album? A Breakdown of the Costs Involved

Photo by Gavin St. Ours via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

You've got big dreams. You want to make an album that's going to change the landscape of modern music. There's just one little thing you need to factor in that doesn't have anything to do with the creative side or your magnum opus, and that's money.

Making an album isn't cheap, but costs vary greatly. While you generally get what you pay for, you don't really need to spend an arm and a leg to get a good quality recording nowadays. Check out these price estimates for making an album with a full rock band instrumentation.

Artists: Are You Sure You Own Your Masters? A Music Lawyer Explains

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You might think, "Hey, I recorded these songs, so I own them." But do you really? Read on to find out.

How to Know Where to Spend Your Money in Your Music Career (Part 2)

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In part one, we did a quick, to-the-point assessment to determine your musical goals and current career level. Now, in part two, we’ll outline some common scenarios of hypothetical musicians and where they’ll want to consider investing their money.

A note of transparency before we dive in: all of this is to help you level up your career and wisely spend your case. I don’t mean to micromanage your wallet, only to offer insight on how to best achieve your goals.