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Attention Performing Artists and Athletes…!

November 23, 2010

Theater masksThe entertainment and sports world is both exciting and glamorous. These taxpayers have adoring fans, travel to exotic places and earn a great deal of money in a short period of time. However, this is an industry where careers are often short-lived, and taxpayers can be very aggressive in attempting to cash in on their fame.

Athletes and entertainers may receive several million dollar for endorsements, a few weeks work on a motion picture, rock concerts, appearances or a season of episodes ion a television series. These large income streams are usually accompanied by complex financial transactions and extensive tax planning.Sports rings

When a foreign entertainer or athlete enters the U.S. to perform services , sell or endorse products, the tax complications grow. These activities are governed by a complex web of code, regulations and court decisions, quite unlike the rules associated with a U.S. entertainer or athlete. See our recent blog “Do You Need A Central Withholding Agreement? Call Me.”

An individual is considered an artiste (performing artist) or athlete if the activity is predominantly of a performing nature. However, an individual who enters the country to be a guest lecturer at several colleges will not be considered an artiste. Neither will a person who is interviewed on television unless the individual is an entertainer or athlete in the first place. The individual who conducts the interview will be considered an artiste.

 Examples of additional professions that qualify as artistes include singers, dancers, musicians, magicians, jugglers, comedians, newscasters, television news reporters, circus performers and figure skaters. Examples of athletes and sportsmen include track and field, footballers, golfers, jockeys, cricketers, tennis players, race car drivers, billiard players and chess or bridge champions. As long as there is a public performance, a person is considered an athlete or entertainers.

At GAI ( we can help you navigate thru these (what may seem like) difficult tax scenarios. Call us today at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. We are here to help you! See you soon.


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