What Is a Performing Artist Expense Tax Break Credit?

Performance artists often incur expenses out of their personal funds which are not reimbursed by employers. To claim a tax break credit with the IRS for performance-related expenses requires spending more than ten percent of the income earned during the tax year. The amount of income is determined by the amount of wages reported on your W-2 forms. Your wages, however, must not be more than $16,000 of your adjusted gross income including your spouse’s income. To receive a tax break, a performing artist must also have worked for more than two employers during the tax year and have received more than $200 from each employer. If your expenses are higher than ten percent, taking deductions for a larger amount could be accomplished by creating a separate tax entity and applying for an employer identification number. This is done through an EIN number application.

Starting a Performance Artist Tax Entity

Creating a separate entity and then billing your performance services as a contractor allows you to deduct more expenses on your tax returns. Purchasing gear, equipment and theatrical supplies becomes a bona fide business expense which can be deducted from your income regardless of how much you earned during the year. Keeping track of all performing artist expense records is important because it can be used to verify your right to the maximum allowable deduction.

Tax deductions for performance artist entities:

  • Vehicle depreciation, repairs, gas and mileage for transportation
  • Lodging and travel expenses for overnight trips to performances or auditions
  • Home office or recording studio used for work or creating audition materials
  • Gifts, tips and entertainment provided for marketing or promotional events
  • Educational expenses, such as voice lessons, acting classes or writing workshops
  • Purchase of musical instruments, audio/video recording equipment or amps

It’s Easy To Get Started

Gov Doc Filing makes it easy for performing artists to set up their own separate tax entity. You can visit our federal tax ID number example page to see how easy it is to get started. Our support team is also available 24/7 to answer any questions about creating a more effective tax-planning strategy.

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