Only 2% of actors make a living from acting

According to a recent study by Queen Mary University of London, actors are having a hard time making a living. Of course, those of us who are regularly (or not so regularly) treading the boards already knew this – but the figures are still quite shocking. Just 2% of actors make a living from acting alone, with 90% being out of work at any one time.

International tax returns
How do you balance your taxes?

Side Jobs

If you are not in the 2% of actors who are lucky enough to make performing their full-time career, you will probably have a few jobs on the side. Working behind a bar, being a delivery driver, doing freelance work, or even working in an office can become part of an actor’s life.

The Guardian recently covered this shocking study and mentioned how easy it can be to let your side gig become your full-time job. Certainly, it can make life easier. For instance, imagine not having to worry about when (or indeed if) your next pay-slip will arrive and letting your employer take care of paying HMRC?

Taxes from employers

The great thing about having one employer is that taxes become a lot easier – and if that is enough of a reason for you to jump ship and abandon acting, then you probably shouldn’t have been auditioning in the first place.

For the rest of us who are plugging away at our craft while working jobs on the side, aiming to break the barrier into that 2%, we need to maximize our income – whilst staying on the right side of the law. We need tax experts on our side.

Accountants for actors

It may seem to some people like an unnecessary expense, but I couldn’t recommend a dedicated accountant enough. As actors/performers, our income is coming from all different directions. Every job that we take on (and every expense that a job incurs) complicates our tax filing. Do we deduct costumes for a performing job? Can we claim a computer as an expense for our freelancing?

The Showbiz Accountant

I have a dedicated accountant, Keith, at “The Showbiz Accountant” who regularly points me in the right direction

Working hard is a given – but as actors, sometimes we need to remember to work smart. Look at how much stress you are put under when tax season comes around. Call the Showbiz accountant to take advantage of their free review – then you can decide if appointing a dedicated accountant can save you time – and money.

How Actors File Taxes For Their Side Gig

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