Moderate-income actors would benefit

Moderate-income performers will likely benefit from a tax relief bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday.

Bill will raise the current limit on adjusted gross income to allow deductions for work-related expenses.

Currently, the U.S. tax code allows single performers to deduct business expenses only if they have an adjusted gross income below $16,000. The bill would raise that cap to $30,000.

Similarly, the bill will help married performers by eliminating an existing tax penalty against them.

“This tax code is so outdated, it’s more appropriate for court jesters from the Middle Ages than for today’s performing artists,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), co-author of the bill, in a statement. “Unless we want our artists to literally starve and our stages to fall silent, it’s vital that we give our beloved artists the benefits they need to pursue their passion,” he declared.

“California is home to thousands of talented performing artists who work hard just to make ends meet,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the bill’s other co-author. “They are the backbone of the entertainment industry. But the tax code hasn’t kept pace with the times. And provisions designed to help struggling entertainers haven’t been updated in 22 years. This legislation will fix that and bring much-needed relief to the people who do so much to keep the arts alive in America.”

Schumer said the bill should help as many as 36,000 performers in New York.

Industry support for the bill has come from the Screen Actors Guild, Actors’ Equity, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

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