Playing music and social welfare

Delamitri79

New Member
Messages
2
Hi folks.
I'm currently on jobseekers payments and I also play a little music at the weekend. I havent declared this yet and am a little worried what it might do to my welfare payments. Can anyone throw some light on this for me.
Many Thanks
 

noproblem

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,846
It is income, so be careful whoever you're playing for, eg, pubs, etc, aren't already putting you down as an expense even though you might not know they are. Do you advertise in local papers, newsletters or similar? We live in an awful small country.
 

Delamitri79

New Member
Messages
2
It is income, so be careful whoever you're playing for, eg, pubs, etc, aren't already putting you down as an expense even though you might not know they are. Do you advertise in local papers, newsletters or similar? We live in an awful small country.
We play a few pubs a month and we get paid through bank transfer. I work for the band so the manager transfers payment from his account to mine. Its my first year doing this and I don't know what to do because I can't afford to loose money from either welfare or gigging.
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
900
You are in a predicament, to say the least I've seen Social Welfare chase people for an overpayment of less than €100.00 over a year. Your band colleagues could be thinking along your lines too. It only takes one person (a neighbour, a busybody etc) to contact Welfare and inform on you. The same people would ring Revenue.

You're walking a tightrope and the more you earn through music the higher the rope is getting. My advice to you is come clean to Social Welfare and Revenue if necessary.
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
900
I've been pondering on Delamitri's situation. The tightrope he's walking could well be a future elongated razor blade. Once you fall foul of Revenue and Social Welfare you are in deep quicksand and on your own. I don't know how much is earned through the "little" music. If I were Delamitri I would do the following:-

1. Contact Social Welfare and come clean.
and
2. Visit a competent tax advisor who will contact Revenue on your behalf. You may be entitled to claim for some expenses.

Not doing these is a recipe for a tax bill not to mention what the minor issue of Social Welfare will do. Our Revenue people are good at their jobs. All you've got to do is read the newspapers of defaulters which have been named and their amounts owed. More defaulters will not have been named. I think the days of Tax Amnesty are gone. If you're caught you get an assessment from them and it is up to you to fight your corner, remember you might be on your own, a lonely and frightening place to be.

If you get to Revenue before they get to you, you're in with a fighting chance and you do not have to keep looking over your shoulder.

What about the imponderables:-
1. Your band members pay tax (or about to pay tax). Will they let you off scott free?
2. Revenue gets on the case of the band manager on other issues. Will he throw you under the bus?
3. You have an argument with a bar owner/manager. Somebody begrudges you your extra income. Or somebody just doesn't like you.

It is easy to contact Revenue these days and anonymously.

Unless Bono is contacting you to play with U2 You've two choices:-
1. Give up playing music for money forever.
or
2. Come clean to Revenue and Social Welfare.

. . . time to face the music, I regret to think. (not meant as a joke)
 
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noproblem

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,846
Remember too you have a paper trail of the money you've been given by the manager. If the band have a manager there must be a few quid involved. This will end up involving all of you, including the pub or wherever you play. Maybe you should sit down and have a chat about your worries with band members and all involved. Otherwise it'll grate on your mind and if you go to SW or revenue without having a chat with them then all hell will break loose. Good luck and at least you're trying to do the right thing.
 

Black Sheep

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,195
I think there may be a little leeway with SW as the music is at weekends only, therefore you are available for work during normal working hours. Might be worth having a chat with them and asking if you were offered a gig at the weekend would that be allowed.
Citizens information nationwide help line is also a good source of information (0761 074 4000)
 

Setanta12

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,111
I wouldn't highlight to SW what you are doing. Have your defence, that you were always available at normal hours for work, to hand.

Re the Revenue ... look, some of the bandmemebrs will know the score re tax and could view you as troublesome. How many nights per year would you averge play for, how much € per night? That will inform everyone's treatment of your case.
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
Messages
305
Are you on Allowance or Benefit - there is different criteria re tax. Allowance is not taxable but benefit is. You can do some work on both and still get a reduced payment but you must be looking for full time work. I would advise you to clarify your entitlement with S.W. as they will find out if your band manager is making any return for you to Revenue.
 

Conan

Frequent Poster
Messages
968
The taxation of income is one issue. But your entitlement to Jobseekers (Allowance or Benefit) is a different issue.
Jobseekers Benefit is not means tested, you are entitled to it (though generally limited to 9 months payment). However the entitlement to JSB is on the basis that you are not earning or have suffered a significant loss of earnings. Generally speaking, if you are claiming JSB you are expected to inform the Dept of Social Protection of the days you work and you don’t get JSB for those days.
If claiming Jobseekers Allowance, this is means-tested. So any income you make from “gigging” will be taken into account.
You can decide not to inform the Dept, but that is leaving yourself open to prosecution. The clue is in the title....Jobseekers. If you are working, you have an obligation to play fair with the Dept (and other taxpayers who finance these payments).
As for Revenue, income is income and potentially taxable. If your total income (Jobseekers + gigging) is below the taxable threshold then you may not have any PAYE liability. But if the total income exceeds the tax free threshold then you have a liability. I would council against trying to run rings around the Revenue.
 
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