DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page is to be cited as a legal source. This is for helpful/informational purposes only and should not replace direct advice from a tax professional. Tax laws may change and personal situations vary. Consult your accountant with any questions.
If you earn or plan to earn any 1099 income in this coming tax year, you’ll need to file your LA Business Tax before the last day in February! So what the heck is this, you ask? That’s the thing, almost no one knows about it! But it’s a thing, and if you don’t file, you will eventually receive a letter saying you owe fees – so let me help you out!
First of all, they call it “LA Business Tax” but it is actually a “Business License.” As long as you’re earning less than $300,000 per year in creative artist activities, you qualify for the Creative Activity Exemption and will not have to pay anything to file for this license. But you DO need to file for it. Every single year. Don’t you fret – I’ll walk you through it at the end of this post!
WHO SHOULD FILE FOR LA BUSINESS TAX EXEMPTION?
Any performing artist earning 1099 income in Los Angeles should file for the Business Tax exemption. Because as actors we don’t always know what the forthcoming year will bring, it’s a safe bet to register each year, just so you’re covered.
It does not apply to W2 income unless you are filing as a corporation. More on that in the video. As an individual, It applies ONLY TO 1099 EARNED IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES.
WHAT IF I DON’T DO IT?
You might get away with it… for a while. But I’ve seen this come back to bite people a few years later with a hefty fine. It only takes ten minutes to complete the registration – better safe than sorry. I’ve provided the instructions to the best of my ability to help you through it.
WHEN IS THE DEADLINE?
Every year, by the last day in February. Set a reminder on your smartphone so you won’t forget next year!
WILL I OWE MONEY?
Most likely, no. If you’re earning less than $300,000/year in 1099 Creative Artist Income, you will not need to pay anything. Earnings beyond that would depend on your specific situation. If you’re earning less than $100,000 from a self-employed business, you also will not owe.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER REGISTERED BEFORE: Click here to go to the REGISTRATION PAGE and follow the instructions in the video below.
IF YOU’VE REGISTERED IN PREVIOUS YEARS AND NEED TO RENEW: Click here to go to the RENEWAL PAGE and follow the instructions in the video below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The nice folks at Chuck Sloan and Associates have a ton of helpful info on their website: chucksloan.com.
You can also ask our HA tax expert and preparer, Jeff Thompson, on the Happy Actors FB page or jeff@JeffThat.com.
In this video, I’ll walk you through how to register or renew your LA City Business Tax. If you’re ready to renew, you will need to know your total 1099 and cash income for 2019. You’ll also need to know which portion of that was from acting/writing and what was other income.
If you are filing for your corporation, you will need to know your TOTAL income for 2019.