SAG-AFTRA is working to build a coalition of allies to promote passage of a bill that would update federal tax code to put more money in members’ pockets. The bill, known as the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, would update the Qualified Performing Artist deduction.
The coalition includes Actors’ Equity Association and the American Federation of Musicians, and the union is seeking other supporters.
Introduced in May by Reps. Judy Chu, D-California, and Vern Buchanan, R-Florida, the bill would be the first update to the deduction since the 1980s. The Qualified Performing Artist deduction was intended to benefit middle-class artists, and applied to performers making less than $16,000 annually when it was signed into law by President Reagan. But it hasn’t kept up with the times, and in today’s dollars, $16,000 is no longer a living wage.
“We would like to thank Reps. Chu and Buchanan for introducing this bill,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “SAG-AFTRA members work hard to entertain people around the globe while providing for their families. Any slight changes in their income could be detrimental and it is imperative that tax reform protects our community of performing artists as well as hardworking middle-class Americans.”
Photo: From left, SAG-AFTRA members Sandra Karas, secretary-treasurer of AEA; Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon; Rep. Judy Chu; National Board member Stacey Travis; and David Dastmalchian.
This item was originally featured in the fall 2019 issue of SAG-AFTRA magazine.