Warner and Hagerty Introduce Bill to Update Performer Tax Credit


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U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced legislation to provide much-needed tax relief to working artists by updating the Tax Deduction for Skilled Performers, which allows some performers deduct the cost of expenses incurred in the course of their employment.

The Act respecting fiscal parity for performing artists would update the thresholds for the QPA deduction to ensure that more low- and middle-income artists can benefit from the tax relief.

The Performing Artist Tax Parity Act is approved by many organizations defending the rights of emerging artists, including the Department for Professional Employees, the AFL-CIO, the Actors’ Equity Association, the Theater Communications Group, the Recording Academy and the Nashville Songwriters Association. .

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for performers and artists,” said Senator Warner. “Even if the generalized vaccinations allow the reopening of the rooms, many actors, musicians and entertainers are still struggling to recover. I am happy to be working on a two-party solution to help alleviate some of the burden on working artists during a very difficult time. “

“As a son of Tennessee and my state’s former commissioner for economic and community development, I appreciate how vital our entertainment industry is to Tennessee’s rich culture and economy,” said Senator Hagerty. “I am pleased to present and work on a bipartisan basis with Senator Warner on this important legislation that will help Tennessee’s creative industry and the performing artists who truly make it thrive. Under our legislation, low- and middle-income entertainers from Mountain City to Memphis will be able to keep more of their hard-earned wages, as it updates a Reagan-era tax deduction that helps performers record the costs of work-related expenses. and adjusts it to the damaging effects of inflation.

The Tax Deduction for Qualified Performers has not been updated since its inception in 1986 and is currently only available to those earning less than $ 16,000 per year, meaning very few artists qualify. . The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will update and increase the income limit to $ 100,000 for individuals and $ 200,000 for married spousal filers, allowing more performing artists. low and middle income scene to receive tax relief for work-related expenses.

A copy of the invoice text can be found here. The accompanying legislation was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

“I want to thank Senator Mark Warner and Senator Bill Hagerty for drafting and introducing this important legislation. These are great champions of creative professionals who make our industry successful, ”said Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA. “We are fighting for this legislation because it will allow working class entertainment and media professionals legitimate deductions so they can keep more of their hard-earned money in these most difficult times.”

“I am grateful to Sens. Warner and Hagerty for their leadership in their fight for tax fairness for performing artists as the industry goes through a historic crisis, ”said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association. “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 business expenses, and so should we. The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act will put more money in the pockets of working artists when they need it most as we work to recover the arts sector.

“Ensuring that union building professionals can once again deduct labor expenses is a top priority for the DPE and our affiliated unions in the arts, entertainment and media industries. We congratulate Senators Warner and Hagerty for bringing this important legislation to the Senate, which will put money back into the hands of hard-working, middle-class professionals, ”said Jennifer Dorning, President of the AFL-CIO.

“As the Senate Finance Committee wraps up its deliberations on its tax proposals for fiscal year 2022, it should be noted that the more than 80,000 professional musicians of the American Federation Musicians have long used the provisions of the Qualified Performing Arts. IRS Code Tax Parity Act to recover usual and necessary expenses that employers in this industry have refused to reimburse for decades, ”said Ray Hair, president of AFM. “Active musicians continue to struggle while recovering from the loss of much of their income from live musical performances due to the COVID19 pandemic. The Performing Artists Tax Parity Act is a sane piece of legislation that we can all agree on. It will restore those deductions and help musicians and other entertainment professionals recover from the ravages of the pandemic, which has crippled our industry, while helping working artists and their families regain their integrity. “

“I congratulate Sens. Warner and Hagerty for joining Reps Chu and Buchanan in putting aside partisanship to help thousands of backstage entertainment workers and creative professionals, ”said IATSE International President Matthew D Loeb. “The inability to deduct labor expenses hurt our members long before the COVID-19 pandemic ended our work and erased our salaries. Now, with a full return to work in sight, Congress should pass this bill, establish tax fairness, and ensure our workers come back stronger than before. “

“The Theater Communications Group is pleased to approve the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, a much-needed tax fix for performing artists, especially now when their lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19,” said Laurie Baskin, director of advocacy for the Theater Communications Group. .

“The RIAA strongly supports this bipartisan effort to make the tax code work for artists and musicians. This legislation will strengthen our music ecosystem and create new jobs and opportunities in touring, recording and more, while opening the door a little more for the next generation trying to break through. We congratulate Sens. Warner and Hagerty to fight for tax fairness for working artists and musicians, ”said Mitch Glazier, CEO of the RIAA.

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