Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Home » Recent News » Tax Filing Tips – 2024 (US)

Tax Filing Tips – 2024 (US)


It’s Tax Time: Make It Easy on Yourself

To help streamline your 2023 returns, here are some of the new and enhanced programs issued by the IRS in 2024.

Taxes can be complicated for musicians. Which form? What can I claim? E-file, where? To help you sort it all out, we outlined a few basic ideas to get you started. First, keep your sanity intact—file early. Next, make a short checklist; it will go a long way. There won’t be any surprises, and you may be pleasantly surprised in the end. Third, become acquainted with the IRS website, its features, and new rules.

Individual Online Account

If you don’t have one, create an IRS individual online account. Over the past year, the agency has rolled out an enhanced IRS Individual Online Account that includes chat, the option to schedule and cancel future payments, revise payment plans, and validate and save bank accounts. As in the past, you can also access your individual account information including balance, payments, tax records, and more.

Once your return is submitted, you can check the status of your refund using the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool. The status is available within ٢٤ hours after the IRS receives your e-filed tax return or up to four weeks after you mail a paper return.

Direct File Pilot Program

The IRS is introducing a new choice for taxpayers to file their tax returns online. The Direct File ( pilot is being rolled out in phases and is expected to be available in mid-March.

If you are eligible, you can electronically file your 2023 federal tax return for free. Direct File does not prepare state returns. However, the Direct File pilot guides you to a state-supported tool that you can use to prepare and file your state tax return.

The Direct File pilot aims to be easy to use. It will help you:

  • •File a 2023 federal tax return—for free—in English or Spanish.
  • •Add your tax information with step-by-step guidance.
  • •Connect with real-time online support from IRS customer service representatives.
  • •Access information from smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers.

Visit Direct File,, for the latest information and to learn if you’re eligible. 

IRS Modernized e-File (MeF)

Software providers included on the IRS website have been approved by the IRS Modernized e-File (MeF). They have passed the IRS Assurance Testing System (ATS) requirements for software developers of electronic Form 8849 excise tax returns for tax year 2023. (Note, they are not part of nor affiliated with the IRS.)

Meeting the requirements means that the software can provide correct data in the proper format for processing by IRS systems. It does not mean that a software package includes every possible schedule or attachment, or that it will meet the needs of all taxpayers and filers. It is the filer’s responsibility to contact the provider to determine if the software meets their needs. Providers can be found here:

Free Advice

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. The VITA program has operated for over 50 years. VITA sites offer free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, including:

  • •People who make $64,000 or less;
  • •Persons with disabilities; and
  • •Taxpayers with limited English-speaking skills.

In addition, these programs specialize in pension- and retirement-related issues for those who are 60 years of age and older.

These sites are operated by IRS partners and staffed by volunteers who want to make a difference in their communities. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retirees associated with nonprofit organizations that receive grants from the IRS. They are a reliable and trusted source for preparing tax returns. All VITA/TCE volunteers who prepare returns must take and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards.

The VITA Locator Tool will help you locate an open VITA site near you. Virtual options are also available for those who cannot go to a VITA site in person.

Social Security Recipients

The Benefit Statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, is a tax form that the Social Security Administration mails each year, in January, to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received in the previous year, so you know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on your tax return. If you have misplaced your Benefit Statement, you can get a replacement form at Replacement tax forms for the previous tax year are generally available beginning February ١ of each year.

Avoiding Scams

With tax season starting, millions of Americans will be targeted by tax scams. There are many scammers out there looking to steal personal information. Always be suspect of potential emails or websites asking for details about a tax bill or refund.

  • •The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers via email about a tax bill or refund.
  • •Do not click on links claiming to be from the IRS.
  • •Do not respond to calls claiming to be from the IRS. The agency will never call you. A threatening-sounding call claiming to be from the IRS is a scam.

Furthermore, IRS employees will never:

  • •Contact you to demand immediate payment.
  • •Send an unsolicited email suggesting you have a refund or that you need to update your account.
  • •Claim that your Social Security number has been suspended.
  • •Promise a Social Security benefit approval—or increase—in exchange for information.
  • •Request credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • •Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card or gift card.

If you receive a suspicious call or are unsure of the identity of someone claiming to be from a federal agency, hang up. Do not provide personal information or payment. If you are an identity theft victim and your tax account has been compromised, review the steps you need to take at the IRS Identity Theft Central (

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