Performing Artist Tax Return and Deduction Checklist

Performing Artist Tax Return and Deduction Checklist

Do you love performing? 

Music, dancing, singing, acting, or anything entertaining grabs your attention? 

But taxes? 

They can feel confusing.

Feeling lost when with your taxes? No worries! We’re here to help you out!

Managing taxes can be easy with an expert like KPG Taxation or, by knowing the right deductions. 

Let’s break it down: what deductions can you claim to make the most of your tax return? 

From car expenses to grooming costs, we’ll guide you through the process in simple terms. 

So, grab a pen and paper, and let’s understand your tax return!

What Deductions Can Performing Artists Claim?

There is a wide range of deductions performing artists can claim. 

Here’s a breakdown of some common ones, presented in a table for easy reference:

Category Deductible Expenses Examples
  • Travel between different jobs on the same day (e.g., rehearsals to a restaurant job).
  • Travel to different work locations (e.g., costume fitting to a radio interview).
  • Travel for work purposes with overnight stays (e.g., interstate performance).
  • Car expenses (fuel, tolls, parking) if used for work purposes.
  • Accommodation and meals if required for work travel and paid for by you.
Commissions Commissions paid to theatrical agents. Fees are paid to an agent who secures you acting jobs or gigs.
Work Clothing
  • Protective clothing is required for work (e.g., sunglasses for outdoor performances).
  • Costumes and dance shoes specifically required for a role (e.g., burlesque dancer).
  • Specialised items like makeup remover for stage makeup.
  • A hairdresser’s fee to maintain a specific hairstyle for a role.
  • Tinted contact lenses to alter eye colour for a character.
Grooming Specific makeup and hairstyling required for a role (e.g., unusual haircut). Not applicable for general grooming expenses to maintain a professional appearance.
Multimedia Downloading music for rehearsals. Music files or tapes directly used for practising your performance.
Overtime Meals Meals purchased during overtime hours, if covered by an official meal allowance. Receipts are required to prove the expense and the allowance received.
Phone & Internet Work-related usage on your personal phone or device. A log detailing work calls and data usage (consult tax agent for details).
Portfolio Maintaining a photographic portfolio for publicity purposes (not initial creation). Regular updates to your portfolio photos used for promotion.
Research Costs associated with researching a new role (e.g., books, museum visits). Tickets to theatre/film productions directly relevant to your current work.
Self-Education Courses, training, or seminars related to your current performing area (e.g., singing masterclass). Not for learning new skills to enter a different performing arts field.
Publications Journals, periodicals, and magazines specifically related to your performing arts profession. Industry publications that enhance your skills or knowledge in your current area.
Equipment Buying and insuring equipment or tools essential for your work (e.g., musical instruments). Replacement strings for a violin or sheet music for a performance.
First Aid First aid training course if designated as the first-aid person in the rehearsal space. Applicable if this responsibility is essential for your work environment.
Home Office Heating, cooling, and electricity costs for a dedicated home office space (proportional to usage). Receipts for utilities and a record of the percentage of space used for work.

What Can't You Claim?

While there are many deductions available, some expenses are strictly non-deductible. Understanding these can prevent you from making errors on your tax return. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Regular Clothing: Clothes you can wear outside of work, even if purchased specifically for work (e.g., leggings, white t-shirts).
  • Upfront Agency Fees: Joining fees, search fees, or upfront payments to theatrical agencies are not deductible. These expenses are seen as costs associated with finding work, rather than expenses incurred while performing work.
  • Audition Costs: Expenses related to preparing for or attending auditions (seen as seeking work, not performing work).
  • Childcare: Expenses associated with childcare while you work.
  • New Skill Development: Courses unrelated to your current performing area (e.g., acting classes for a theatre usher).
  • General Meals: The cost of meals or snacks consumed during a regular workday, even with a meal allowance.
  • Entertainment: Expenses for attending award nights, galas, social functions, concerts, or similar events, even if industry-related.
  • Gifts: Costs of buying gifts (flowers, alcohol) for fellow performers, producers, or directors.
  • Pay TV & Streaming: Fees for pay television and streaming services unless demonstrably used for work research (needs detailed logging).
  • General Fitness: Gym memberships, weight loss programs, vitamins for general health and fitness (unless required for a high-demand role like a dancer).
  • General Grooming: Hairstyling and makeup expenses for maintaining a generally professional appearance.
  • Commuting: Travel expenses between your home and regular workplace, regardless of the distance.
  • Prescription Glasses: Costs of regular prescription glasses or contact lenses (unless tinted for a role).

Why Choose Professional Tax Agents?

As an artist, you already have your mind all over the creative space. Managing taxation and staying updated with deductible and non-deductible expenses can really be tough.

But with expert tax specialists at KPG Taxation, you can lessen your burden as they will handle all your taxation-related work and ensure you claim everything you’re entitled to as a performing artist.

Consulting with KPG Taxation

Focus On Growing Your Business, Leave The Accounting On Us!

  • Income Tax : File your taxes & get the best claims & returns.
  • Accountancy : Hire expert accountants to manage your transactions.
  • Bookkeeping : Let us handle your record books and expense reports.
  • Business Advisory : From company set-up to payroll, we handle it all.