I got a letter yesterday asking me to declare all money that I've made from 'performing in musical venues'. My bandmates have all gotten letters too.
Thing is, we've never made any money. Most of you on this forum will know how impossible it is to make any money as an original band. If we were in it for the money we'd play covers and go to pubs. We try to play showcase gigs where possible where no money changes hands whatsoever. The (very) odd time a venue might throw ya 30 quid for petrol or lob ya out a few free pints but even that's rare. If we run our own gig we'd maximum get 10-15 heads in which will only occasionally come close to covering the cost of running the show, never mind posters, food, petrol or sometimes accommodation. We obviously have no receipts for any of this, and can barely even remember ourselves. Bottom line is, this is a few lads with an (expensive) hobby, not a business.
Why bother? Because we love it. We enjoy packing up our gear on a weekend and tipping off around the country. Have a few pints, meet a few people, play a few tunes, have the craic and feck off home again. It's better than sitting around a crappy midlands town on a Saturday night. Simple as.
I know the country's up s*** creek at the minute but really is it even worth their while? We couldn't possibly owe more than 20-30 euro spread over out two and a half years! I can understand them cracking down on bands who actually make a living or a decent chunk of cash on the side but we’re talking pennies here. Now we're looking at maybe being fined for not declaring an income that doesn't exist!
I'm also currently on jobseekers (not by choice) which hopefully this whole thing won't completely screw up on me.
We're still waiting for IMRO and an accountant to get back to us but does anyone else have experience of this happening to them?
Oh, and any young bands reading this, sort out your finances. We never even thought about it before this but apparently it's important.
Sorry for the rant, I'm a nice person normally.