Actors’ Equity Association applauds reintroduction of bipartite fiscal parity law for performing artists

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Association for stakeholder equity applauded the re-introduction of the Bipartisan Performers Tax Parity Act (PATPA), presented by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL). This bill would correct an unintended consequence of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which resulted in tax increases for many performing artists who could no longer deduct the cost of their unreimbursed regular and necessary business expenses.

While tax reform has not hurt high-income artists, many others in the industry have reported massive tax increases because they lost the ability to deduct their business expenses. “People sit with me and burst into tears because they didn’t know what to do”, Sandra karas, tax lawyer and secretary-treasurer of Association for stakeholder equity, told the Los Angeles Times, which was covering the devastating tax increases hitting performing artists. Professional actors, stage managers and musicians, for example, typically spend 20 to 30 percent of their income on necessary expenses – like paying to attend auditions or a talent agent – to stay with the company and find a job.“I am grateful for the leadership of Representatives Chu and Buchanan as they fight for tax fairness for performing artists as the industry is in a historic crisis,” said Kate shindle, president of Association for stakeholder equity. “The overwhelming majority of Equity managers and actors are working class people who work hard to make ends meet, and unlike other workers, they often have to spend 30% of their income on business expenses. Our producers can deduct their professional expenses, and we should be able to do that too.The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will put more money in the pockets of performers when they need it most as we work to take over the arts sector Performers Deduction (QPA), which was originally enacted by the President Ronald reagan. The LPQ allows an above-the-line tax deduction for qualified performers, but has been limited since it was enacted to an adjusted total gross taxpayer income of $ 16,000. PAPPA would update the deduction to $ 100,000 for single filers and $ 200,000 for married artists filing jointly.“Despite their disproportionate influence and contributions to local communities and economies, Americans’ struggle in the arts has been recognized for years,” Reps Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Judy Chu (D-CA) wrote in The Hill when the bill was first introduced. “Most of the actors and directors who belong to Association for stakeholder equity and SAG-AFTRA members who work in television and film are hard-working middle-class taxpayers – often struggling to get by. They have slipped through the cracks of an imperfect system. To strengthen support for PATPA, Equity has partnered with the arts and entertainment unions, working in partnership with each other to meet with congressional offices. Since the creation of PATPA in June 2019, the unions held dozens of meetings with Congress staff. Equity and SAG-AFTRA also submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the need for tax fairness for actors and managers.


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