The Australian Government Reckons Aussie Musicians Make $300K A Year

The Australian government is being overly optimistic about how much money local musos make, with a section of its 2015 Budget website providing an “example” of someone in a band who somehow makes a cool $300,065 each year.

SBS and triple j reporter Marc Fennell took to Twitter today to share the government’s incredible optimism, saying, “300k for a “small sole trader’ in a band?? Does anyone in the government actually know anyone in the music biz???”

The Jobs and Small Business section of the 2015 Budget website features a tool where examples of small business tax relief can be found once you select an industry.

In this case, when you plug in “Arts And Recreation Services” for an individual, the site gives the example (and stock image) of a woman named Stephanie, who “performs in a band that she runs as a small sole trader”, giving her a taxable income of $300,065.

Now we’re not sure what band Stephanie is in, but whatever it is it’s definitely not your average Aussie troupe. “In 2015-16, Stephanie will purchase an electric guitar costing $2,400,” the site reads, because, well, Stephanie has plenty of money to burn.


The example goes on to suggest that Stephanie will pay less tax in 2015-16, thanks to the government’s new small business tax concessions.

Only when you change the “kind of entity” section to say that the band is a small trust does the government’s budget website give you an estimated taxable income of $40,565, which is much closer to reality, but still not the whole truth.

UPDATE 15/07/15: The Australian Treasurer’s office has confirmed that Stephanie, the $300,000-earning guitarist, is a “cameo” and not a real person.

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