Tax Deductions for Entertainers

Independent performers should claim the below tax deductions to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Mileage you can deduct

Home office to work location
Unless you have a permanent place of work to which you must commute, all miles driven between your home and a job site are tax deductible.
Between clients and back to home office
Miles driven between jobs, and from your last job site to your home office, are tax deductible.
Work-related errands
Miles driven to pick up supplies, marketing assets, attend a conference, or other work-related errands are tax deductible.

Expenses you can deduct

Phone & Service
If you have to use a phone for work, the purchase and monthly service bill are tax deductible!
Office Supplies
Items that you buy for everyday use in your office, like pens, paper, postage, and notepads, are deductible!
Business Cards
Designing and printing business cards is deductible as a marketing expense. Just be sure to check for typos!
Printing & Copying
Printing and copying expenses for marketing flyers and brochures or for your office records are tax deductible.
The costs of promoting your business, like online ads, signs, print, radio, and video, are all deductible!
Any toll fees that you pay while working are tax deductible! Just make sure they're not already being reimbursed.
If you have to pay for parking while you're working, that's tax deductible. Unfortunately, parking tickets, traffic violations, and speeding tickets are not.
Professional Development
Networking and staying up to date on your industry are even more important when you're self-employed. Reading materials and fees for conferences, seminars, and professional events are deductible.
Business Travel
If you're traveling for work, you can deduct a percentage of your hotel and transportation expenses.
Licenses & Memberships
Licenses or memberships that help you do your job are deductible. That includes license renewal fees and membership dues to professional organizations.
Health Insurance
If you're self-employed and don't have the option to buy health insurance through an employer or spouse, you can deduct your monthly health insurance payments!
If you purchase supplies that are needed to run your business, those expenses are deductible! Just make sure these purchases would be considered typical for your industry.
Agent & Manager Fees
Managers and agents can help you get gigs. Thankfully, any fees or commissions you pay them are tax deductible business expenses!
Contract Labor
If you hire someone else to do necessary work on a business project, that's a deductible expense!
Costume Maintenance
Costume rentals, laundering and repairs are deductible for special working costumes. Time to get that sequin jumpsuit out!
Flash that smile! A professional headshot qualifies as a business deduction.
Legal Fees
A good contract can save you hours of headaches... for a price. Be sure to record your business related legal expenses as deductions!
Sheet Music
Score! Sheet music, Real Books, standards, and music qualifies as a tax deductible business expense.
Venue Rental
All the world's a stage. Any space you rent for performances, sales pitches, or business events is a tax-deduction too!
Personal Protective Equipment
Hand sanitizer, gloves, face masks, and other safety items are essential right now for anyone actively working in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any expense that doesn't fit the other categories we've set up for you. Please make sure to add a note to keep track of them!

Other expenses you can deduct


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Non-Deductible Expenses

Clothing that can be reasonably worn outside of your work environment is considered a personal hygeine expense and is explicitly deemed a non-deductible expense.
A haircut is considered a personal hygiene expense and is explicitly deemed a non-deductible expense for independent workers.
Life Insurance
You can't deduct the cost of premiums for life insurance where you are the beneficiary. This includes taking policies out to secure a loan for your business, or to fund a succession plan.
Parking Fines and Tickets
Misconduct isn't part of your job! Fees for legal violations, such as parking tickets or court fees, are not tax deductible.
If you have a permanent office from which you conduct your business then the miles driven between your home and that office are considered commuting and are not tax deductible.
Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning is considered a personal hygiene expense and is therefore explicitly deemed a non-deductible. Unless you're cleaning a uniform, the expense is considered personal.

Non-Deductible Expenses if You Take the Standard Mileage Deduction

Gas is part of maintaining a vehicle for business and is deductible only if you choose not to take the standard mileage rate.
Oil Change
An oil change is standard car maintenance and is deductible only if you choose not to take the standard mileage rate.
Car Insurance
Car insurance is required for all car owners and thus is deductible only if you choose not to take the standard mileage rate.
Car Repairs
All cars will eventually need a repair. Repairs are deductible only if you choose not to take the standard mileage rate.
Car Lease Payments
If you are leasing a car, you can deduct the lease payments only if you choose not to take the standard mileage rate.
Car Depreciation
Car depreciation is deductible only if you choose not to take the standard mileage rate.

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