• You’re a performing artist (an actress or actor, musician, dancer, magician…)
  • You want to save money, OR
  • You’re uncertain about what you can write off that would qualify as performing artist tax deductions


You’re in the right place! As someone who is self-employed, let alone a performing creative, it can be a serious challenge to understand what you’re able to write off.  In a prior life, I was a SAG actress myself, so I’ve been in your shoes and I get how confusing this can be! In fact, I remember not only receiving conflicting information from seasoned professionals who’d been in the business dozens of years – but also multiple professional CPAs. It was a lot to sort out.

Performing Artist Tax Deductions

Anyhow… to help you avoid confusing information from fellow performing artists or generic tax offices unfamiliar with how you actually make money, here is my unabridged list of performing artist tax deductions!

Performing Artist Tax Deductions:

  • Professional photography (anyone say headshots?!)
  • Professional styling for headshots
  • Printing of headshots
  • Upload fees of headshots on casting sites (like Actors Access)
  • Printing of any marketing materials (business cards, flyers, postcards)
  • Postage & Delivery
  • Courier Fees
  • Professional videography for content you create
  • Professional editing for things like demo reel (or other content you produce)
  • Retouching of photos and headshots
  • Rental of rehearsal space
  • Rental of filming room (when needed for taped auditions)
  • Bookkeeping software (such as QuickBooks Online or FreshBooks)
  • Required clothing, costumes, makeup or styling for jobs and gigs *
  • Cleaning & maintenance of clothing and costumes worn on jobs
  • Commissions paid to talent representation (agencies and managers)
  • Theater, film, music tickets (research) *
  • Portion of cable bill *
  • Professional books
  • Your website domain
  • Your blog theme and purchased plug-ins (if applicable to website)
  • Your website hosting (such as BlueHost)
  • Any web design services or maintenance
  • Professional conferences and workshops admission (local and far)
  • Professional training
  • Lodging, transportation & travel costs to professional events *
  • Purchased fonts and stock photography for website or marketing materials (if applicable)
  • Food (for hosted showcases, etc.) *
  • Professional dues and licenses (like SAG and AFTRA dues, and even city business licenses)
  • Professional subscriptions
  • Cell phone
  • Virtual assistants
  • Any 1099 subcontractor staff (sometimes this is staff you hire to help you fill out a gig—like a pianist to accompany you or other actors to perform alongside you, etc.)
  • +29 more performing artist tax deductions (download your beautiful, free checklist to get access to these additional 29 deductions below)

To get the complete tax deduction list with 29 more performing artist tax deductions, make sure you download your free checklist here:

Before you go…

Hopefully, you noticed all of the asterisks in this list. I marked these because they’re the tax deductions that aren’t well understood (and can be lucrative for you). So, while I wanted to mention them as potential tax deductions, I also wanted to point out that they can create problems if you’re not careful.

Why? Well, for these tax deductions you need to make sure you understand the requirements of what will actually make it constitute as a business expense, and keep specific records to ensure that the IRS never challenges your write-offs. Feel free to contact me if you’re unsure about the complexity of any performing artist tax deductions. (Also, my free Tax Deduction Challenge is a great starting point in getting some clarity on this).

Over To You..

Have any questions or thoughts about the performing artist tax deductions listed? Leave a comment below, and happy money keeping! 🙂

Performing Artist Tax Deductions
Performing Artist Tax Deductions