New Tax Laws To Ease Burdens On Independent Artists, Other Freelance Workers

Feb 15, 2021

Hannah Cole is an Asheville artist who runs her own tax service, focused on helping artists.
Credit Nicole McConville

Coming off a devastating year for the creative sector, new federal tax laws could help self-employed people, including independent artists and other freelance creatives.

Hannah Cole, an Asheville painter who also runs a tax preparation service, points to sick and family leave credits. These are designed to help those who lost work and were forced to quarantine, tend to someone with Covid or care for kids whose schools were closed.

“I calculated it for myself,” she said. “My children who go to the Asheville City Schools have been out of school for a year, and I’m going to get $10,000 from this credit.”

Self-employed people who earned more than $5,000 last year can take home an extra $100 each week in unemployment benefits. Also, Cole said, business meals are now fully deductible and, for the first time, those include takeout.

In a recent survey by Americans for the Arts, about two-thirds of North Carolinians who made their livings in creative fields reported a devastating financial impact from the pandemic.

Cole is hosting a free webinar noon Thursday about the Shuttered Venue Operators grant program.