I am writing for my son who is nine and has been an actor for 4 1/2 years. I read your answer regarding W-2's not being allowed as "self-employed" income, as there is not a self-employed business. Understood.
You mentioned that you can possibly write off the expenses as an "adjustment to income" on the front page of the tax return depending on the income and expenses. What are the "depending on income and expenses" and if he meets that, how do I let my accountant in on this big secret!!
We are having a fight with Social Security regarding his income and it seems your answer may be a big help!
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.
If I sign a W-9, not a W-4 for every job he takes with a production company, be it commercials or screen, why does he receive only W-2's and is there anyway to insist that they send 1099"s? I am enjoying the information on your site, my husband is self-employed also and your recommendations are right on!!
Thanks again ---
I have been so busy with clients that I have not been able to answer questions from readers as quickly as they and I would like. I hope you and others who are awaiting answers have filed an extension for your 2007 tax return to give you more time to sort things out.
All actors are paid as employees. My former husband, an actor, received numerous W-2s, often with piddling amounts on them. All my actor clients have the same situation. I assume it is a union regulation. You might want to ask the Screen Actors Guild [SAG].
On your specific questions regarding income, I am sorry to disappoint, however, it is my policy not to provide tax preparation instruction online. If your accountant is not aware that actors can deduct expenses on the front of the return, you need to find a tax pro who is. It's not a "secret." It's pretty basic staff. Contact the SAG office and ask them to recommend a tax pro or call several local accounting offices and ask if anyone is familiar with tax returns for actors.
You don't say what is your fight with Social Security, but I wish you success.
There is more info on indie business expenses in my book Self-employed Tax Solutions .