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How Foreign Artists Pay Their Taxes in the US

Linus Lassus

US flag

As a European artist, touring and traveling in Europe is pretty easy and straight-forward. Touring the US however, is often associated with all kinds of bureaucracy regarding visa, work permission and taxes. The US market does require bigger efforts, but the hard work pays off when done thoroughly.

The taxation process for foreign artists is described in an easy-to-digest manner here, written by Robyn Guillaims from the law firm Goldstein & Guilliams. Basically, artists and performers coming to perform in the US are eligible to pay tax on all income that they have earned in the country. This is processed through a withhold-and-return system. All businesses (eg promoters) who pay a fee to the performer withhold 30% of the net fee, irrespective of the tax-rate with which the performer’s income will be taxed. As a rule, this means more money is withheld for tax purposes than the artist is eligible to pay. In order for the artist to receive their full fee, he or she needs to file a tax return form to the American authorities.

The actual tax rate depends on several factors. For instance, if an artist runs a business, he/she might be taxed as an individual, depending on how the payment benefits the artist.

Also check out this video about what visas you should apply for and how to apply for them.

Disclaimer: MXD does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. It is strongly recommended that you check all tax matters with both SKAT and the US authorities, as well as your local US partner.