When it comes to tax breaks in Hollywood, Donald Trump giveth and Donald Trump taketh away.
The Hollywood Reporter surveyed multiple payroll service companies — their accountants are hired by studios to cut the checks for the actors, crew and craftsmen who make their living hopping from film to film — and learned that the average on-the-set worker has seen about a 5 percent bump in his or her pay stub since the passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. But those same accountants are quick to point out that in April, the federal government will be grabbing back that 5 percent and maybe a lot more, thanks to the law's stingier freelancing rules and caps on property tax deductions (especially painful in pricey real estate zones like California and New York, where most of the industry's 2.4 million workers reside).
"Entertainment workers aren't going to see what hit them until they file their tax returns next year," warns actress and tax attorney Sandra Karas, secretary treasurer of the Actors' Equity Association, who estimates that 75 percent of her guild will be paying more taxes this year. She calculates, for instance, that an unmarried industry worker in California making, say, $38,500 will pay close to 10 percent more this year. "They're going to be hit by a two-by-four," she says. READ MORE