Is Concert Clothing Tax Deductible?

Posted February 22, 2010 at 1:39 PM by Brittney Stanton

Mr. Hunt,
I’m a young musician filing taxes as an independent for the first time and could use your help. Can I deduct any of the concert attire or music that I purchase?


There are two parts to your question: for the answer to the first question
about deducting concert attire, please refer to my article here on titled “Is Concert Clothing Tax Deductible?”.  If you have
other questions about this, feel free to ask!

The second question about deducting music is fairly straight forward.  If
you are engaged in the music business, either as an employee or
self-employed as a teacher or free lance musician, the music you purchase is
generally tax deductible, assuming it has some connection to the work you do
to earn money.  For example, if you play piano in a jazz combo as a hobby
and do not earn any income from this, piano music purchased for the combo
would not be tax deductible; but if your employment is as a classical
flutist, then flute music purchased would be deductible whether for your job
or to enhance your skills on the job.

I hope that clarifies for you,

Bill Hunt

About the author

William Hunt
William Hunt

Bill Hunt has been a professional tax accountant since 1993. His tax preparation career began with H&R Block, where he prepared individual tax returns for ten years. He now manages his own tax practice, preparing individual as well as corporate tax returns, and specializing in tax returns for musicians. He is an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service, allowing him to represent clients before the IRS. Bill holds a Master of Business Administration degree with concentrations in Finance and Corporate Accounting from the Simon School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester.

In addition to his tax career, Mr. Hunt has been a member of the First Violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 1975, and also serves as Concertmaster for the Penfield Symphony. He has been guest soloist with the Penfield Symphony, Fredonia Chamber Players, Cincinnati Community Orchestra, and The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan.

One Comment

Leave a comment
  • Dear Mr. Hunt,

    I’m an amateur musician. I don’t really earn any money playing the violin, but I play in a community orchestra that plays four or five concerts a year. We are very serious and we sound pretty good. I have the funds to purchase a better violin. Would I be able to depreciate the instrument on my taxes? I also know that old string instruments generally appreciate in value. Am I able to depreciate the violin even if it appreciates? Thanks for your help.


Leave a Reply