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Qualified Performing Artists Tax Deduction

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Type of Deduction:

Above-the-line tax deduction (you don't need to itemize).

Basics:

If you are a qualified performing artist or other professional, and you paid for job-related expenses out of your own pocket, then you can claim those expenses as a tax deduction. Normally job-related expenses are a miscellaneous itemized tax deduction, subject to the 2% floor. If you qualify, claiming the qualified performing artist deduction will provide a bigger tax break.

Qualifying Professions:

The following professions qualify for the above-the-line deduction of job-related expenses:
  • Performing artists who worked for two or more employers during the year,
  • National Guard or Reserve member, or
  • Fee-based government officials.

Performing Artists:

You provided services in the performing arts for two or more employers, receiving at least $200 or more in wages from each employer, your job-related expenses are more than 10% of your income from your performing artist jobs, and you have adjusted gross income of $16,000 or less (without regard to this deduction). Your filing status cannot be married filing separately.

National Guard and Reservists:

You are a member of the Reserve for the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, or Public Health Service Reserve Corps. You can deduct expenses for travelling more than 100 miles from your main home. Your deductible expenses are limited to the federal per diem rates for the city you are travelling to.

Fee-Based Government Officials:

You are a government official who is compensated entirely or partly on a fee basis. Your job-related expenses are deductible.

Where to Claim the Deduction:

You claim your job-related expenses tax deduction on Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. Normally, these expenses are transferred to Schedule A. However, if you qualify, these expenses are transferred to Form 1040 Line 24.

From the IRS:

"If you do not meet all of the above requirements, you must deduct your expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2% limit." (Miscellaneous Deductions, Publication 529)

Tax Law:

The tax deduction for certain job-related expenses is found in Internal Revenue Code Section 62. Qualified Performing Artist: IRC 62(b). National Guard or Reservist: IRC 62(a)(2)(E). Fee-Based Government Officials: IRC 62(a)(2)(C).

More Information:

Additional information about the qualified performing artist deduction can be found at the following Web sites:
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