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Proposed Bill Would Allow Many More Performing Artists to Deduct Work-Related Expenses

Ruth Singleton
Published Date:
Apr 20, 2023

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A bipartisan piece of legislation, introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, would enable more performing artists to deduct work-related expenses, such as transportation, equipment and talent agents, Accounting Today reported.  The Performing Arts Tax Parity Act (PATPA) of 2023 would make the Qualified Performing Artist Tax Deduction available to more lower- and middle-income artists. The deduction is currently available only to those making under $16,000.

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.). in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which eliminated the ability for most performing artists to claim miscellaneous itemized deductions, which previously allowed them to deduct their work expenses. The elimination of these deductions resulted in many artists paying thousands more dollars in taxes, according to Chu and Buchanan.

The bill  would increase the income ceiling to $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for married joint filers. In the future, the ceiling would be automatically tied to the automatic consumer price index for all urban consumers.

"In 2017, working-class performers and artists lost their ability to deduct common business expenses from their taxes. In an already demanding industry, paying for professional essentials like transportation, a talent agent, or equipment should not prevent entertainers from meeting their basic needs," said Chu, who co-chairs the bipartisan Creative Rights Caucus, in a press release. "I am proud to once again join in a bipartisan effort with Congressman Buchanan to ensure that entertainment professionals get the tax relief they deserve through PATPA and can continue inspiring Americans across the country."

"The overwhelming majority of performing artists are lower-income and middle-class Americans struggling to make ends meet," Buchanan said in a press release. "Congresswoman Chu and I are fighting to update this nearly 40-year-old law to deliver needed tax relief for performing artists in Southwest Florida and across the country. I know firsthand that our performing arts institutions and local talented performers are a tremendous asset in our community."

In a news release, Kate Shindle, president of Actors' Equity Association, said, "Thousands of Equity members just filed their taxes, and again owed hundreds—sometimes thousands—of dollars more than before. The overwhelming majority of arts professionals are middle-class workers who just can't afford that. Fortunately, the Tax Code already recognizes the up-front business expenses of working in our industry; the problem is simply that the relevant income thresholds haven't been revised since the Reagan administration. We are grateful for the leadership of Reps. Buchanan and Chu, and thank them for reintroducing this critical bipartisan legislation while we're all still working toward a full recovery of the live performing arts."