Hey guys! It's Carter Coefield here. Today, I am going to continue my series on tax deductions for creatives. However, this article will focus on the top tax deductions for actors and entertainers.
I know you are busy and focused on booking your next gig, but check out this financial advice just for you. Here is a list of five things you can write off your taxes now!
Advertising, Photos, Casting
Call up your favorite photographer and tell them to get the camera ready. Get your photo shoot done! Yes, that's right, you can write off photo shoots, headshots, and more. Anything related to getting your brand out there is a business expense and 100 percent tax-deductible.
In addition to headshots, you can also write off what you spend on demo reels, editing, online casting, and your website. So, get yourself out there and boost your brand. Amplify your reputation with a high-quality online presence.
I have had a few photo shoots myself, and I know that great headshots are not cheap. If you pay cash for any of these expenses, don't forget to ask for a receipt. Also, track your transportation costs too, whether you take your car (track the miles) or public transportation.
Acting Classes and Workshops
Before you hit the big screen or stage, why not get a few practice rounds in first? The best stage to master your talent could be the stage of an acting or improv class. So, master your craft through acting workshops and courses because they are all tax-deductible.
If you are not sure what classes to take, check out this list of tips to help you choose the best acting class. It's essential to figure out what type of acting you want to do, then find the class that can help you develop the skills you need for that genre. Try a few types of acting workshops if you can, then narrow down your interests based on the classes you liked most.
Your Award-Winning Looks
Costumes are key, that's why there is a category for them at the Oscars. So, it's no surprise that you can get a tax deduction for costumes related to your work. However, I must warn you. This deduction is specifically for costumes, wigs, and anything you wear for your performances.
I know everyone loves to get dressed up for the red carpet, but you cannot deduct your outfits for a party, event, or glamourous appearance. By definition, a costume must be something you wear to perform your job. If it has your brand or logo on it, that's even better. So remember, your costume is a prop and a key element to your performance. If you invest in a costume or uniform, keep the receipt and write it off.
Every creative professional needs an "A-Team." Hunt for the best agent, lawyer, and public relations firm you can afford. Any money you pay to a member of your team for their services is a tax-deductible business expense. You work hard for your money, but they get some of your paycheck too. So to help a fellow actor or entertainer out, Uncle Sam, allows you to write those expenses off to lower your taxable income.
Your A-Team can also include personal assistants, web and graphic designers for your website, and more. Any amount you pay someone to help you with your business is a business expense you better be sure to claim.
An Acting Coach
There is no shame in getting an acting coach to help you fine-tune your craft. But did you know that your coaching fees are also tax-deductible? Great actors pay a lot of money for acting coaches to help them. Maybe you need to get the accent right for your next role. Or you need to work on a new genre of acting you have never done before.
Don't worry. You can get the help that you need to succeed. Acting coaches can be a huge expense, but if it wins you a role or an Oscar, I bet you’ll say it was worth it. Besides, once you claim it on your taxes, that's less taxable income for you.
So, you focus on being the best actor and entertainer you can be. Let the taxes be my thing.
You're a Brand and a Business
Just remember to treat your career like a business. It's essential to keep a list of your auditions or entertainment events. Track all the details you can like the date, time, and location. Also, if you have any costs, keep the receipts. Original receipts can help you remember all your expenses and ease the pain of any IRS audits. Don't worry if anything comes up with the IRS, contact me. I am here to help.