“Senate Republicans, like their House colleagues have stabbed us in the back. The Senate bill eliminates the deductions for ordinary and necessary business expenses, including agent fees, audition costs, research, coaching and classes and transportation, among other expenses, which will raise taxes and make it harder for actors and stage managers to maintain their viability in the marketplace.
“It is important that we maintain our skilled performing work force of artists all across the country. Equity’s talented actors and stage managers are middle-class employees who work in jobs that cannot be outsourced. They are the primary drivers of a nationwide industry that countless Americans have come to rely on for entertainment in their own communities, every day and night.
“This latest tax bill as written not only doesn’t provide the relief for Equity’s middle class workers, but by raising costs for thousands of artists, puts our entire industry at risk.”
Background: Like so many who work in the entertainment industry, actors and stage managers often incur significant expenses such as transportation costs when they audition or work out of town. Itemized deductions help level the playing field for workers like actors who are required to spend a large portion of their income on business expenses.
In addition to serving as treasurer of Actors' Equity, Karas also heads Equity's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which helps thousands of Equity members prepare their income taxes every year at no cost.