Actors' Equity Association announced that it has retained Meltsner Strategies to help support tax fairness for working actors and stage managers.
"Actors and stage managers aren't just the heart and soul of a theatrical production, they also often play that same economic role, helping to anchor entertainment districts and spur redevelopment in cities across the country," said Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actors' Equity Association. "With the arts industry bringing so much economic value to so many cities and towns, tax fairness for working actors and stage managers should be a priority for everyone."
"Actors have a voice on the stage, they have a voice with their employers through representation by the Actors’ Equity Association. Our firm’s goal is to amplify their voices of actors and stage managers and the positions of Actors’ Equity on Capitol Hill,” said Jim Meltsner, President of Meltsner Strategies. "Promises were made to the middle class during the tax debate, but middle class actors lost business deductions that had long been in the tax code and have been treated unfairly."
The work comes after Equity's Secretary/Treasurer, Sandra Karas, a working actor, licensed tax attorney and Chair and Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, toured the country to help educate Equity members about how changes in the most recent round of tax reform would impact them.
The tour included stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Orlando, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, and included an online seminar.
Equity was active during the debate over the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," warning that the bill would unfairly punish members by eliminating deductions for ordinary and necessary business expenses. Those changes will take effect next tax season. For more information on how the new tax law will hurt members of the entertainment industry, click here.