As a general rule, anyone performing services in the U.S. must pay U.S. taxes on their U.S. income, this includes artists. Anyone making a payment to a foreign artist working in the U.S. is generally required to withhold 30 percent of the artist's gross income against the U.S. tax liability. Foreign artists working in the U.S. are taxed at the same rates that apply to U.S. citizens, so foreign artists usually need to file a U.S. tax return to recover the difference owed them. Maine requires foreign artists to pay state taxes on their earnings as well.
Taxes and Withholdings
Withholding is required of anyone making a payment to a foreign artist for services performed within the U.S. Withholding is a mechanism that the IRS uses to ensure that it can collect taxes from foreign artists.
Taxation is the actual amount owed by an artist on earned income. Withholding may be required, even if an artist will end up owing no U.S. tax. Conversely, an artist may be exempt from withholding, but still owe tax on the income earned.Commissions paid to agents and artist managers are also subject to withholding, even if the commission is paid by a U.S. presenting organization directly to an agent or manager.
U.S. arts organizations engaging foreign artists for tours outside the U.S. should note that a foreign guest artist is not taxed on services performed outside the U.S.
For more information on artist taxes and withholdings go to the Artists From Abroad website.