WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Senators Barbara Boxer, D-CA, Bob Corker, R-TN, and Lamar Alexander, R-TN, introduced the Songwriters Simplification Act of 2013. This bill reinstates American music publishers and self-published songwriters’ option of a simplified five-year, 20 percent per-year schedule for deducting taxes on songwriting costs for song catalogues.
Under current law, songwriters are allowed to amortize or deduct expenses incurred in creating a song or purchasing a song catalog over a longer period of years, which is problematic because a song’s highest or peak value is when it is initially created. The simplified deduction schedule in this bill provides a more cost-effective alternative to other depreciation schedules and allows for a balancing of taxes over a period of time.
“In Louisiana, music is an integral part of our culture. Songwriters and producers are praised for their artistic and creative abilities, but they are often overlooked as business owners and employers,” said Senator Landrieu. “This legislation helps songwriters to offset their expenses and attract investors into their creative enterprises. With this fix, musicians will be able to focus less on their business expenses and more on creating the music that we all love.”
“Many of America’s greatest musicians and songwriters come from my home state of California,” Senator Boxer said. “This bill will help these talented artists, whose music contributes so much to our culture and our economy.”
In April 2013, Senator Landrieu held an informal roundtable with musicians from across the country to discuss ways the federal government can help artists in their role as entrepreneurs. Many issues were discussed, including the simplified deduction schedule that the bill addresses.
This legislation was also introduced in the 112th Congress.