Music News

Tax Evasion

If national elections are the government's way of dicking you over every four years, Tax Day is its way of making sure you don't forget who has the biggest dick every single year. The worst part is that while you could spend the rest of the year wondering how your tax money is spent -- since you don't have health care and/or your car just bottomed out in a pothole the size of Delaware -- all you really have to do is turn on CNN to watch your share detonate over some Iraqi's head.

Of course, if you're a musician -- and, therefore, predisposed to civil disobedience and bad-ass behavior -- it's your moral and ethical duty to fight back any way you can. Here's a list of tips for how rockers can stick it to The Man:

Deduct weekly STD tests: Think of it as a (cost of doing) business expense rather than a medical one. Oh, and speaking of medical deductions, remember that rough night you spent in Poughkeepsie? Your head was killing you, and the only way to get to sleep was to pay that hooker with the limp to give you a hand job while you smoked crack from her pipe? That was a medical expense, in a manner of speaking, which also kind of makes it a deduction.

Deduct your wardrobe: According to the IRS, deductible business expenses must not be lavish or extravagant under the circumstances. This means that gold teeth or diamond-studded grills do not qualify as acceptable "uniforms and formalwear" expenses. However, flamboyance is not discouraged -- hence the obsession with colorful unitards, feathered boas and silk scarves that have periodically been used to reduce tax penalties by sexually ambiguous rock stars.

Deduct your practice space: Are you a member of a garage-rock band? Calculate the percentage of your rent or mortgage interest your garage's square footage amounts to, add in the percentage of your utilities that space eats up, then deduct it using Form 8829 -- Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.

Deduct your, ahem, business gatherings: "Professional Society Meetings" are an acceptable expense and, therefore, deduction. Loosely interpreted, this means that a night of hard drinking with musical cohorts or partying with strippers in the very professional atmosphere of a gentlemen's club while discussing your career with your manager and bandmates qualifies. Motley Crüe almost bankrupted the IRS in the '80s with these sorts of expenses.

Move to California: Get a marijuana prescription and deduct all the pot you inhale as a medical expense.

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Cole Haddon