Maybe you’re a Background Actor playing an accountant on set or perhaps you’re wondering if you can write off those dry-cleaning bills that make your Santa suit look so pristine. Whatever the case, it’s never too early to start thinking about tax season and we’ve made it easier than ever to access and get support for your W-2. Here’s what you need to know this tax season.
Through our parent company, Entertainment Partners, Central Casting makes it easy for Background Actors to receive their W-2s online. Whether you’re a first-time user or created an account last year, simply visit EP’s W-2 page to login directly or find out how to access your info via your computer or smart phone device. These pages contain a host of helpful resources, including How-To Guides, Videos, and FAQs, so check them out. Signing up early will allow you to get your W-2 in late January and be on your tax filing software or meeting with your accountant the very next day. The self-service portal is fast, safe, and secure. Be sure to have your Social Security number, date of birth, phone number, and email address ready when you register.
Remember, your W-2s will only reflect the wages you were paid by Central Casting. There are times when Central Casting casts a show, but the Background Actors get paid by another payroll company. You’ll know you were paid by us when your voucher says Central Casting and/or Entertainment Partners.
As actors, you should be aware of some taxation changes in 2018. Prior to the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), entertainment professionals could deduct union dues, agent commissions, and a vast array of other business expenses related to their careers, including acting classes, office expenses, trade subscriptions, and even haircuts. Unfortunately, the TCJA has eliminated the deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses for 2018 through 2025. The loss of these deductions may be offset by the increase in the personal exemptions.
The TCJA can affect other industry professionals as well, including crew members, writers, and directors. Need more information? Check out the Tax Foundation’s coverage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.