by Federica Colucci
At Cremona Musica Carmen Fantasia is presenting her new book to help musicians dealing with taxes, “Fisco amico” (Friendly taxation). Without going deep into the matters of the Italian tax system, we talked with her about her book and the relation between musicians and revenue, in order to help them to avoid any worry.
Mrs. Fantasia, how is the idea for this book born?
The idea was not so immediate. I have been following the world of artists and musicians since 2006, in workshops and fairs. After every speech, everyone asked for an easy and clear solution, without much “philosophy”. It is like going to the doctor, when he explains your situation using scientific language. What happens then? The patience feels discouraged and maybe change doctor, looking for a simpler explanation, something he can understand. It is the same for the artists, they need to be “cuddled”, giving them practical information, and it is important that these professionals (musicians are professionals) are followed by an emphatic consultant, someone who cares about his bureaucratic problems. Given the many requests I received, I also started to work with a studio that works “with its heart”.
The series “Fisco amico” already includes other publications devoted to creative jobs. Why did you choose to help musicians next?
The current is still the same. When I decide to write a guidebook for a certain category, it is because I made some research to find out who needs them. Musicians usually are completely absorbed from an emotive point of view, because of their job. They have some issues trying to interpreting the fiscal language unless you do not use an easier language. Libraries are full of legal texts dealing with these topics in a quite difficult way, because they are conceived for accountants. There was a need for a book that solves the doubts of musicians. When I proposed this idea to Laura Moro, the energetic editorial director of Edizioni Curci, giving her a copy of “Fisco amico” for creative jobs, she gave a quick look at it and told me “finally something I can understand, let’s publish an edition for musicians and artists”. And so we did it. Now it is a best-seller, already. For those worried about the frequent changes in the law, there is a code in every book that gives access to a reserved area of Curci’s website, where they can download all the updates.
Besides the book, there is also a website where you offer personalized advice via Skype. What are the most common doubts?
Yes, on www.fiscoamicopertutti.it there is the opportunity to book your personal consultation online. It is the fastest way to have a solution for your tax problems. I cannot be everywhere. The most common questions are about the compliance with safety standards during the shows, the new social security system, if you can work without a VAT number, if you can be an employee and a freelance musician at the same time… and much more.
What is your advice for young people, to fight against disinformation?
It is simple: taxes is a topic you must deal with in your lifetime. Everybody pays them (or should) everybody has some deduction, and so on… I think that the basic information about taxes for musicians should be taught in the last year of the courses of the conservatories. It is not easy, but knowing your rights and duties make you stronger in your profession… you can walk head-on.
What do you think about Cremona Musica?
Cremona Musica is a necessary event for me, a situation where I can meet hundreds of musicians, to talk about fiscal issues. Here I find people that I can help with a quick conversation. How do I do? Easy, I am creative too, this is why I can deal with artists. At Cremona Musica I expect to meet someone that believes in the dissemination on fiscal issues and that can help me introducing it as a subject in schools and conservatories, because this is the only way we can give hope to our children, who could become musician or events organizers. We must explain to them that we should not work illegally or for a few euros, they are real professionals, they are not on a stage just to fill a bar to make the owner sell more drinks.