The life of a musician is rarely simple, but at least at the top of the business you can afford to hire people to deal with the business of keeping your affairs in order. When you’re a mid-level performer or just starting out life can be awfully confusing, and it only becomes more baffling when you start to receive attention from overseas.
So, if you’re first starting out as an international artist you might (should) be wondering how best to manage your finances. What should you be doing with your overseas earnings? How much tax should you be paying, and how can you protect your credit score at home while you’re working overseas? Well, here are five things you should be doing while playing gigs abroad to help you strengthen and protect your financial health.
Keep Your Local Account Open
Regardless of how long you’ll be working overseas you should keep your domestic bank account open and your credit cards valid. When you finally do return home you’ll want to be able to slide right back into your life without fuss, and you’ll want to send a little money back every once in a while to keep up with any regular payments (such as your cell phone bill) to avoid hefty charges.
Open An Offshore Account
The tax system varies for every country, but depending on your residential status you may be able to benefit from preferential interest rates and lower taxes by taking advantage of offshore investment funds. If your local tax code allows you to pay tax on income only when it’s brought back to your home country you may benefit from keeping it offshore until you return home, accruing interest on the balance all the while.
Open An Account with a Global Bank
ATM cards can be notoriously unreliable overseas, so in order to ensure access to your money it may be a good idea to open an account with one of the many international banks that operate more readily overseas than smaller local banks. Banks with global interests often partner with other banks around the world to reduce ATM withdrawal fees for their customers, so you may actually make a saving with every withdrawal.
Keep Making Payments at Home
It can be easy to forget your home life while out on tour, but you should never allow your gigs and practice sessions to get in the way of the more mundane but equally important aspects of life. While you’re on tour you might want to think about making the occasional purchase with your domestic credit cards – whether you need them or not – and then set up regular payments to clear the balance at the end of each month. That way you’ll protect and even strengthen your credit score while you’re out of the country.
Remember Your Tax Obligations
If you’re making a significant amount of money from your gigs you should consider retaining the services of an accountant with expertise in international finance. He may be able to tell you about ways to legally protect yourself from tax obligations back home on income earned overseas. You should also remember to keep receipts for all expenditures while you’re abroad. Many if not most purchases while on tour may be classed as tax-deductible business expenses.
Whether you’re on tour overseas for days, weeks or months and earning hundreds, thousands or even millions you should always make sure to consult a professional about your finances. There are many complex rules regarding overseas earnings, and you’ll find a professional will be able to keep your tax liabilities minimal while suggesting investment opportunities that will swell your funds in advance of your return home.