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 USA and/or International, you are responsible for reporting the royalties you receive from the sale or streaming of your music. This isn't a Symphonic rule or policy but a government-enforced policy for all territories of 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 forms that are specific to USA / Domestic individuals and/or to Foreign / International individuals. Once we collect that information, we'll then supply you 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 USA / Domestic standpoint: We send out 1099's and other documentation on a yearly basis and at the appropriate time for you to report. We additionally report information in regards to your royalties to the IRS thus 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.
For our international clients, the same above applies although there would be different forms associated with the reporting. We'll request information on a W8-BEN form and supply you information on a 1042-S on a yearly basis.
Rules and regulations differ if you are USA / Domestic to us and/or if 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 U.S. government, and U.S. 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. On a yearly basis we will send you a 1099-MISC form that you can use for your filing of taxes. Forms are only sent if you received payment from Symphonic Distribution within a calendar year.
These forms may be mailed to you, emailed, and/or placed on the SymphonicMS for your records. These forms can then be used by you for tax filing purposes as well as 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 additionally taken proper steps to secure 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 method 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 U.S. sourced income (sales or streams) to domestic or to a foreign person/entity is responsible for the withholding and reporting of such sales or streams made in the U.S. under U.S. tax code and Regulations. This has been active for many years. Any company not doing it or that has not done this, either has not done it correctly or has been in violation of 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 and could land you in issues.
This also goes for any company located in a foreign country paying to U.S and/or a foreign company paying to a country outside of its own.
Companies like Apple, Spotify, Google, Beatport, Traxsource, and many more also have to abide by these same regulations based on where they are located. Every USA 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 U.S. government, and U.S. taxing authorities. Every distribution company doing business in the USA and/or abroad has to abide by tax rules and regulations.