Tax Returns for Singers

Like all the arts, making a career in singing is very difficult, but if successful you’ll have a very rewarding career. This guide will make it easier to break into a career as a freelance singer.

What does a freelance singer do?

If you put it into the simplest terms, a singer, of course, is somebody who sings. But there is actually a wide range of jobs that it could involve, from different genres – pop, rock, opera, country, soul etc. – to different purposes, for example singing in the studio as the main artist or backing singer, or doing the same but live on stage in front of an audience. As a freelance singer, you could be singing on TV, film, and advertisements, or singing as part of groups or solo. The variety of work available makes a career in singing a very exciting one.

What skills does a singer need to have?

There lots of people who dream of being singers, so there is lots of
competition. The better you are, the more likely you’ll be able to get singing work. Here are some of the qualities that make a great singer:

  • Great at singing: This is vital. You can train to become better at singing, but you still need a natural talent to be successful.
  • Musical talent: Even if the tone of your voice sounds amazing, you won’t get anywhere if you have no sense of rhythm or timing.
  • Passion: Since it’s such a competitive industry, and one that requires long hours of work, you’ll need to really love what you’re doing.
  • Confidence: Singing in front of audiences will be nerve-racking for most people. You’ll need lots of confidence to get over your nerves.
  • Taking criticism: Like with every other art form, as a freelance singer, you’ll be facing a lot of criticism. You need to be able to accept criticism and use it to become a better singer.
  • Being fit and healthy: Since you’ll be working long hours, you’ll need to be fit and healthy. Also, you’ll want to look at your best when you sing to live audiences.

Becoming a better singer – training

Even though to be a singer you need lots of natural talent, to make a successful career, you’ll want to keep learning and practising to become as good as you can possibly be. There are plenty of ways to study singing, from attending formal education to hiring a private singing tutor. Here are some organisations that run singing courses:

  • Royal Academy of Music• London Music School
  • The British and Irish Modern Music Institute

Studying a course will also give you opportunities to meet industry professionals, and make friends with similar interests.

How to find work as a freelance singer

Making it in the music industry is tough, so you’ll need to spend a lot of time looking for work, especially in the early days when you have little experience. Here are a few ways to market yourself and find work as a freelance singer:

  • Make business cards: Give them to your friends and family so they can hand them to anybody who might need your services as a singer.
  • Social media: Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to make new contacts and talk about what you do.
  • YouTube: You can upload videos of yourself singing. You can put the address of your YouTube channel on your business card so people know where they can check out your work.
  • Set up a website: A professional website will make you look more credible, and is a good place to show your contact details, and the kind of work you do. You can also imbed videos from your YouTube channel.
  • Mandy: The Mandy Network acts as a job board for singing jobs.
  • Star Now: Star Now is a website which posts auditions in the entertainment industry, including auditions for singers.

Specialist Accountants for a freelance singer

There are various benefits to Freelancing as a singer, from the freedom and flexibility to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay. But there is one downside – accounting. As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care of on your behalf in the form of PAYE. As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of each business year. Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from singing.

Getting tax and accountancy advice

With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll forget about you until the next year. But for your business to be run smoothly and successfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year, especially in the early days.

Citi Accounts are different

Citi Accounts provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just for singers & freelancers. Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and accountancy advice you might need, including things like:

  • Take-home pay
  • Which VAT scheme to register for
  • Expenses
  • Tax allowances
  • Choosing between sole trader and limited company
  • Running your business in a tax-efficient way

We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many other accountants.