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Reps. Chu and Buchanan Introduce Tax Fix for Performing Artists

June 5, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC — Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Vern Buchanan (FL-16) today introduced legislation to update the Qualified Performing Artist (QPA) tax deduction which helps artists deduct the costs of work-related expenses. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ability to claim miscellaneous itemized deductions, which previously allowed these artists to deduct their work expenses. The elimination of these deductions has caused many artists to pay thousands more in taxes. The Performing Artist Tax Parity Act corrects this problem by updating the thresholds of the Qualified Performing Artists Deduction to allow more lower and middle-income artists to utilize it. Reps. Chu, Buchanan and the Actors Equity Union issued the following statements:

“Expenses like head shots, transportation, and more force professional artists to spend up to 30% of their gross incomes just to stay in business each year,” said Rep. Chu. “For years, these expenses could be written off in their taxes, but that deduction was lost in the new tax law, requiring artists to spend thousands more. This is an untenable hit to working families that hurts our economy and communities. I am glad that Rep. Buchanan and I could find a bipartisan solution to fix this problem and even the playing field for our country’s performing artists.”

“The overwhelming majority of performing artists are lower-income and middle-class Americans struggling to make ends meet,” said Rep. Buchanan. “Congresswoman Chu and I are fighting to update this 30-year-old law to deliver needed tax relief for performing artists in Southwest Florida and elsewhere.”

“There is no question Rep. Chu understands that art is not just about our national soul, but a stronger national economy,” said Kate Shindle, President of Actors’ Equity Association. “Tax fairness for performing artists ensures a healthy theatre scene, which means a stronger local arts economy everywhere, and that means a growing economy that works for everyone. We are grateful for her leadership.”

Text of the legislation can be found here.