Growth Group | Accounting for Musicians

Tax Deduction: Musicians Performing in Maryland Arts Districts


Paying less tax helps you invest in your craft and helps your music business soar. Musicians performing in Maryland may not have to pay state income tax on income from an arts district. Receiving the Maryland musician tax deduction is like finding pocket change in your couch cushions – it may not always make a HUGE impact, but it just might allow you to grab something extra for yourself. When combined other tax write-offs, you can keep tens, hundreds, or thousands of dollars in your music business.

Here’s how the tax deduction works for Maryland musicians:

1. Musician must live in a county with an Arts District

To qualify for the tax break, musicians must live in a county designated as an arts district. This currently includes the following counties in Maryland:

  • Allegany County
  • Anne Arundel County
  • Baltimore City/County
  • Caroline County
  • Cecil County
  • Dorchester County
  • Frederick County
  • Harford County
  • Prince George’s County
  • St. Mary’s County
  • Montgomery County
  • Washington County
  • Wicomico County
  • Worcester County
  • Queen Anne’s County

2. What music performance income is deductible?

Income from performing your original music in an arts district may be deducted. Therefore, performing covers of other artists work, does not qualify. Other income including compositions, writings, and any merchandise or products sold from what you created in the district may also qualify as a MD tax deduction (royalties and licenses are not included).

3. County and District Match

The income is tax deductible only in the arts district in the county you live in. Therefore, if you live in Wicomico County but have a performance in the Gateway Arts District (PG County) that income is not eligible for the subtraction.

In summary, the Maryland income tax deduction for artists has specific rules to qualify. When you live and perform in a county with arts district, the income you receive may be a write off, your internet sales may qualify as well. When tax season rolls around contact an musician tax expert to prepare your Maryland returns, this will save you time and money.


Photo: “Maryland’s flag could beat up your flag.” by Seth Sawyers