A knowledgeable accountant is a worthwhile investment when it comes to preparing your tax returns as a freelance creative. However, it is worth being informed about what you are entitled to claim as a tax deduction when you work as a performing artist.
Here is a handy list of things you can claim:
• agent commissions
• coaching classes (for example: acting, singing, and dancing)
• fitness expenses (for performers who need to maintain a high level of fitness)
• glasses or contact lenses (if required for a role)
• stage make up
• hairstyle maintenance (if required for a role)
• home office running expenses
• equipment insurance
• photographs to maintain a professional portfolio
• repairing tools and equipment
• research expenses related to a role (for example: reference materials)
• digital media used for rehearsals
• work-related telephone calls
• theatre or film tickets (directly related to your current work)
• union and professional association fees
The Australian Taxation Office has a list of approved tax deductible expenses on their website. It also goes into more detail about capital allowances and how to claim depreciating assets as deductions.
Familiarise yourself with this list and keep all the relevant receipts throughout the financial year to maximise your return.
This article was first published in The Serenade Files Magazine Issue 2 (April – May 2019). Visit the Members Magazine page to read more articles like this one.