The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 a rough year for everyone, and entertainers are among the hardest-hit groups. The shutdown of entertainment venues and production facilities across the country cut off a primary source of entertainers' incomes. But it did not cut off their creativity, as they moved online to showcase their talent.
None of this changes the fact that 2020 taxes still will be due on April 15, 2021.
Self-employed entertainers (those who receive form 1099)
On the positive side, there are some deductions self-employed entertainers, that is, those who receive Form 1099s and report their business expenses on Schedule C to Form 1040, can take. Expenses that may be applicable even during the pandemic include:
Employed entertainers (those who receive a W-2)
By substantially increasing the standard deduction and suspending or limiting many itemized deductions and dependent exemptions, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) essentially changed how individual taxes are calculated. Most taxpayers now take the standard deduction — you need to have substantial deductions to make itemization worthwhile.
For entertainers who receive W-2s from their employers, the result of the TCJA is that they can no longer claim unreimbursed employee expenses on their tax returns.
Other than the deductions listed above, some entertainers whose adjusted gross income is $16,000 or less may qualify to deduct these expenses as a dollar-for-dollar adjustment to income rather than as miscellaneous itemized deductions. You must meet other requirements as well.
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