Note: Symphonic is not a legal or tax authority. We do not give legal or tax advice. Symphonic simply reports and provides information as per what we've been instructed to. Please consult a tax professional or legal authority for advice and direction.
Whether you are in the US and/or International, you are responsible for reporting the royalties you receive from your music's sale/stream. This isn't a Symphonic rule or policy but a government-enforced policy for all territories around the world. Our system logs every payment and sale you make, and thus, we send you payments, but from there, it is up to you to report.
We'll collect information from you via specific forms to US/domestic individuals and/or foreign/international individuals. Once we collect that information, we'll then supply you with forms on an annual basis that you can use for your tax filing. You will only receive forms if you've received payment from us within a calendar year.
From a US/Domestic standpoint: We send out 1099's and other documentation yearly and at the appropriate time for you to report. We also report information regarding your royalties to the IRS; it's in your best interest that if we pay, you report. We suggest you immediately report whatever income we send you on a 1099-MISC to avoid tax issues.
The same above applies to our international clients, although different forms are associated with the reporting. We'll request information on a W8-BEN form and supply you information on a 1042-S annually.
Rules and regulations differ if you are US/Domestic to us or foreign/international, and our knowledge base will aim to provide you additional information as you read on.
Do I have to submit tax information? Is it mandatory?
Yes. The requirements to complete these forms are imposed by the US government and taxing authorities. Since Symphonic must report all payments made, this information must be provided.
After I fill out my tax details, what happens next?
After you provide your tax details via the SymphonicMS, the files will be stored securely, and we will keep accurate records of payments we have made to you. We will send you a 1099-MISC form to use for your filing of taxes on a yearly basis. Forms are only sent if you received payment from Symphonic Distribution within a calendar year.
These forms may be mailed to you, emailed, or placed on the SymphonicMS for your records. You can use these forms for tax filing purposes and for any in-country credits for tax treaties.
Is my information secure?
Yes. Whenever you enter a social security number or other personal information, the information is encrypted and stored safely and securely. We've taken proper steps to protect your data and store it in secure cloud servers with methods to throw off any potential hacker groups. Whenever you enter the information in our system, the only way it can be viewed is through a password that only accounting professionals can access. Your information is as secure as it can be.
Do other companies do this?
Any company that makes payments of US-sourced income (sales or streams) to domestic or to a foreign person/entity is responsible for the withholding and reporting such sales or streams made in the US under US tax code and regulations. This has been active for many years. Any company not doing it or has not done this, has not done it correctly or has violated tax rules. If any distributor ever says that tax rules do not apply to them, you should consult your attorney or tax consultants because that is incorrect.
This also goes for any company located in a foreign country paying to US and/or a foreign company paying to a country outside of its own.
Companies like Apple, Spotify, Beatport, Traxsource, and many more also have to abide by these same regulations based on where they are located. Every US company has to have a W9 (for Domestic individuals) and a W8-BEN on file with a date of birth and/or EIN/ITIN and withhold based on the country where they are located.
Why is this a requirement or so important?
The requirements to complete these forms are imposed by the US government and US taxing authorities. Every distribution company doing business in the US and/or abroad has to abide by tax rules and regulations.