We are a university that is renting a musical score that will be used for a limited number of campus performances over a certain period of time. The company is a partnership. For 1099-MISC reporting, would this be considered royalty?

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What does your contract say? Does it indicate that you are renting the score? Or does it refer to royalty payments? Or both?  

While this kind of thing would appear to be a royalty, it might indeed be a rental, or charges might include both rental and royalty fees.  Are you being rented the scores?  Or are you paying according to number of performances and attendees?

Royalty income is usually considered ordinary income, though apparently there are exceptions. Royalties may or may not be subject to self-employment taxes, depending on the particular circumstances of the taxpayer.

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